Women of Worth 2017

Gritty Woman

From being a victim of war to moulding herself into a restaurateur, Monica Liu is a classic rags to riches fairytale

Sandipan Chatterjee

Among the thousands of prisoners inside the fenced grounds of Rajasthan’s Deoli camp, a nine-year-old girl stood out. Monica Liu’s routine task still retained few activities from her pre-confinement days: wake up, bathe her siblings, wash their clothes and feed them. Additionally, her chores now also included standing in the queue for a bowl of rice and mutton, that was almost always stale or raw, and fetching water from a faraway tap within the grounds. Over the next five years that she spent in captivity — in not one but three prisons — the routine did not change much. Years later, infected by the urge to start something of her own, she finally broke free of the monotony. Today, Liu owns four successful Chinese restaurants across Kolkata — Kim Ling, Mandarin, Beijing and Tung Fong.