Monday, February 4, 2013

Visit to GB Road (Kat-Katha) !


We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.
- VICTOR HUGO

The auto driver smiled at me when I asked him to take me to GB Road in Delhi. It is a lane I have been hearing about since last few years but never thought I would go there one day. As I was walking down the lane, it felt as a usual busy lane. Three - four floor houses build on either sides looked like they would crumble anytime. It seemed like they are a century old construction and need immediate repair.

GB Road is more famously know as the red light area of Delhi. I was going there to visit my friend Gitanjali who runs an organization "Kat-Katha", engaging with the didis (sex workers) and their kids, developing tailoring skills among the didis (the ones interested and allowed to come) and also providing an environment for their kids that is conducive to fun and learning. She has planned an activity of art and fun with kids this Saturday and I went there to take part in the activity.

As I climbed the narrow staircase with so much of skepticism I saw few of my friends sitting there and decorating the place. I felt much better and got relaxed. It was a 12ft.*10ft. room and many other 6*4 rooms. The biggest room was being used by Gitanjali and her team as the classroom. It was all decorated and as I entered the room I was greeted by a smiling photo of Gandhi ji. 

Then I went up and saw a group of around 10 kids playing with some volunteers. What a moment it was ! Aha ! All doubts and skepticism about the place were gone. I joined the gang immediately and started playing "kabbadi", I lost every-time I tried to take a chance. It reminded me of my days in the classroom :) 

During the entire time I was constantly thinking about the brave girl Gitanjali and how amazing work she is doing. It really takes courage to go there and work. She has been getting warnings, threats but I feel the smile that I saw on kids face today is something that keeps her driving. The painting made my Ruksana Didi (which I got a chance to put on the wall) is her motivation.

This visit has again pushed me back to think that so much more has to be done. I sometime crib about small things and there are others who don't have basic amenities but are enjoying life with what they have. 

There are so many questions that are coming to my mind. Why are these women treated like slaves ? Why don't they get a chance to be what they want ?  Why are these kids exposed to things, they should not know? Why are we as a society forced to accept this ? And most importantly why am I unable to do anything about it ? There is a lot to reflect, to do and create that ripple effect of change. 

People like Gitanjali are my role model, they make me work hard, they give me hope that a better tomorrow is possible !

All the best to "Kat-Katha" and hats off Gitanjali !


P.S. : If you want to visit Kat-Katha (https://www.facebook.com/KatKathaa) drop me a mail. I would love to connect. You can volunteer there every Saturday and  take part in different way. It is our duty to support such youngsters who are doing some amazing work on ground.

11 comments:

Bappaditya said...

This opens my mind to reminiscences! "Sonagachi" Asia"s largest brothel based prostitution work area is in Kolkata. Prantakatha started it's first youth intervention work with youth from this area. The reason was to help stopping what is technically called "second generation prostitution". We were chased, threatened, cases got filed when we actively started rescuing minors. But now, Prantakatha has nearly 125 youth change makers from sonagachi only! They are smart, entrepreneurs and they have experiences and emotion that saves, helpes and fights. Kat katha therefore is our working sister as well :) keep it up getanjali

Ashish said...

Just to add, there is a section of society who advocae prostitution as a means to stop rapes and domectic violence. However they stress on the fact that it has to be legalised.. dignified.. and the women have to be given proper appropriate living conditions with all the social security that any professional gets.. There is one in Najafgarh working on Intergenerational prostitution. if you want i can connect you ot them

Ashish said...

Just to add, there is a section of society who advocae prostitution as a means to stop rapes and domectic violence. However they stress on the fact that it has to be legalised.. dignified.. and the women have to be given proper appropriate living conditions with all the social security that any professional gets.. There is one in Najafgarh working on Intergenerational prostitution. if you want i can connect you ot them

Vinod said...

Gr8 work Gitanjali...
I like to contribute...
But as I am residing Mumbai nowadays...
can u plz give me some more information related to ngos running for similar cause in Mumbai...
N
Related to the issue...
We usually ignore such needy sections in the society...
Especially children's of d prostitutes ...
Unless n until we will provide knowledge n wisdom to them...how they are going to know about d life outside....
I am nit against prostitution..
But I strongly oppose slavery...
Thanks for highlighting d issue...

Gitanjali Babbar said...

Thanks Prakhar for visiting our school:) Yes you are right when you said that i get motivation from my Bacha's and my didi's.never thought i will become mother to so many people at such young age, and thats an amazing feeling which keeps us running... but "Kat-Katha" is the result of the love of its volunteers, without you guys, nothing would have been possible...th
anks a tonne:)

Blain said...

Hi Gitanjali would like to work with you

ayush said...

Its really nice to see such people still exist in our society that wanna help the weaker sections..Hey,,I am also interested in being a volunteer in the ngo..I am currently residing in delhi..

ayush said...

Its really good to see that some people are working for the betterment of the sections of society thsat are always neglected by our society..I would feel proud to be a volunteer for this ngo..kindly mail me the details.I am currently residing in delhi

Gandharv Jain said...

I would love to contribute in my on little way. Would love to volunteer and make a difference. My mail address is gandharv.photographer@gmail.com. Please do drop in a mail with the details.

Thanks
Regards

Nasreen said...

Hey.. I would like to work with you guys. I am a journalist based in Delhi. I am not a Facebook user. Is there any other way that I could connect? My id is nasreen.301@gmail.com

anurag said...

Is there any way i can help,? I am taking coaching classes all 7 days so its impossible for me to come there . Can i give any donation ??