By Team Kat-Katha:
On the one-kilometre stretch of G.B. Road in Delhi, live 4,000 women squeezed inside 77 brothels. Most of them have been trafficked and forced into sex-work while others are simply following ‘tradition’. These women live their lives as puppets – believing themselves to be unfit for any other work, raped on a regular basis, living in an unsanitary environment surrounded by disease, trapped inside their own minds and weakened physically and psychologically by the ordeals thrust upon them. These women don’t have primary education nor are they able to provide their children with the same. For them, the outside world, its promises and dreams, is an illusion, or maya.
Kat-Katha tries to help these women chase this very illusion and to embrace it as their reality.
Following the ‘RISE’ approach – Rights, Integration, Skills and Education – Kat-Katha has helped around 500 women in getting their voter ID cards made, and around 19-20 women are working in the entrepreneurial skills wing through which they sell cards, trinkets and rakhis to Full Circle Bookstore in Delhi, and the like. Their children are also not left behind as around 10 of them currently go to the Kat School, which trains them on various aspects of education, with the aim of enrolling them into conventional schools.
A few but important successes include the story of Nanhi, who attended the National School of Drama’s children’s program for theatre. She also performed at the Akshara Theatre. Eighteen-year-old Karan, who had denounced his mother and who had taken to drinking when he was old enough to understand her profession, is now completely rehabilitated. He currently works at Kat-Katha as the leader of the Rights Project, which works to empower these women with their voting rights as well as Aadhaar cards and bank accounts. He is also pursuing photography.
Watch how the women and their children are fighting to create a better future for themselves.
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