Born to a sex worker in the red light area in Kalighat, Tumpa was written off by her school, by the man she called father and the society. It was through DIKSHA, an NGO that worked with the children of sex workers, educating them about their rights and giving them the confidence to speak up on abuse, that she found her calling.
Started in the Kalighat red light area in Kolkata, West Bengal, 1999, DIKSHA is a project aimed at creating a non-intrusive space for 10-19 year old adolescents. The idea is for them to voice, debate, discuss and resolve issues around gender and sexuality, without infringing upon their right to privacy and silence. The pilot programme proved to be a learning process for both the participants and the interveners – a wall that broke down as the youth took leadership roles.
The vision, mission, and programme focus were initially developed jointly by a team 16 young people from the Kalighat red light area under the guidance of Paramita Banerjee (founder member of DIKSHA). Ms Banerjee is a holder of the MacArthur Fellowship for Leadership Development holder and currently an Ashoka Fellow.
Your contribution will ensure that each child attending the centre gets to have an evening snack which is a luxury for most, given their economic conditions. So, come be a part of this wonderful initiative and support their campaign!