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.