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NGO VISIT- PAHAL
Transcript of NGO VISIT- PAHAL
Co-founder is Gitanjli Babbar
For the purpose of study we took up their initiative Kat-Katha that aims to provide a better life to the sex workers of GB road, the red light area of Delhi.
Kat-Katha was started in December 2011 by Gitanjali Babbar The word Katट-Kकatha implies story told by puppets. By lending a patient ear to their stories, helping them rebuild their deeply battered souls and thereby igniting their secret buried aspirations the initiative is trying to rebuild their lives. The project wants to anchor these women with strings of education, skills, access to human rights, health & hygiene and help develop means of alternate livelihood . They are committed to their goal and vision of providing new starts, new life choices and empowering women to personal freedom, self-reliance and alternate avenues of sustenance. Kat-Katha's mission statement:
"To strengthen the strings of education, livelihood, health and hygiene, life skills and basic human rights in the life of the women working as sex workers in GB road. To reach out to all the 4000 sex workers in GB road and their children as well." ABOUT
Gitanjali worked as a Gandhi Fellow for two years with Kaivalya Education Foundation.
Post-fellowship she worked with NACO in order to be able to work with eunuchs people
While working with NACO she had 10 NGOs under her, out of which 4 dealt with eunuchs
It is while working with NACO that Gitanjali first came to GB Road and interacted with sex workers of GB road. About Gitanjali Babbar Prostitution is illegal in India
There are about 37,000 sex workers in Delhi.
4000 of them reside in brothels of GB Road
There are total 77 brothels on GB road
The minimum age of a sex worker on GB road is 13 or 14 years
Young sex workers are forced to serve around 20-40 customers a day from roughly 1 p.m. to 3 a.m.
NACO provides condoms on GB Road. In case they run short of condoms on a particular day, the condom stock allocated to various NGOs is brought out and first supplied to GB Road brothels. The Bhediya tribe in Rajasthan sends their daughters into the flesh trade. It is a respected profession in the tribe. DID YOU KNOW? The sex workers want someone to talk to them about something apart from safe sex and their personal health. They want to share their stories and be treated with love and respect like humans and not just sex objects. We call them 'Didi' as a mark of respect. ACTIVITIES UNDER KAT-KATHA The problem with rehabilitating these women is that even if brothels are raided and women are returned to their region of origin, they are either sent back by the families or they return themselves because they have no other skills to earn their livelihood. Hence Kat-Katha aims to provide these women with skills so that they have other life options open to them. Batua Project teaches the didis to stitch wallets so that they can be sold and they can earn money.
Educating sex workers by teaching them to read, write and do basic mathematical calculations to instill confidence in them.
Tutor the children of the sex workers and help them with their school studies. OTHER FINDINGS Got a few children to give their class 10 board exams through open school
They've managed to get one of the children into a hostel
The initiative also supports the education of a few children of the Didis on GB Road. Our team met 4 people from the NGO- Gitanjali, Akhter, Karthik and Anas
Gitanjali and Akhter go to GB Road everyday
Karthik is a part of merchant navy and volunteers whenever he is offshore
Anas is a free lance photographer
Apart from these, a few other people also volunteer for the NGO
About 20-23 people help Gitanjali to file paper work and track activities
The NGO is currently in need of a number of volunteers in order to be able to reach out to all the brothels on GB Road.
Since GB Road is a very sensitive area, the NGO is very selective about the people who volunteer. PEOPLE AT THE NGO The NGO can't directly involve the mass media such as it is a very sensitive issue and area
No one is allowed to click photos in the brothels
The NGO has a Facebook page to update people about their efforts
Most of their networking is done through word of mouth and peer groups
Due to lack of funds, they were not able to create a website earlier
Now a website is under construction
There are a few other communication plans in the pipeline such as street plays and events to spread awareness about the issue.
The NGO recently applied for funds with the Red Umbrella Foundation NGO'S APPROACH TOWARD MASS MEDIA Initially it took quiet some time for Gitanjali and her team to get into the brothels and build a rapport. To quote Kat-Katha: HOW THEY WORK "When we entered GB road a few months back our didis looked upon us with major doubts, they used to check our bags and get scared thinking we are either from media or police or people who are going to mock at them. They frowned upon us and doubted us, looked upon our volunteers with suspicion but now they not only have given us a space to enter,sit and teach them but also a special place in their hearts." They have managed to build a personal rapport with these women and their children. The children especially light up as soon as they see the volunteers from Kat-Katha Shakti Vahini- an NGO extended it's support to the project by providing them a center in Chawri Bazaar where these women could be taught stitching and wallet making. OUR EXPERIENCE WHAT WE FELT It was an awesome and truly unexpected experience. The image that I had about sex workers and their family was totally changed after meeting them. I realized they are also people like us. It was totally marvelous experience. JYOTI THUKRAL I felt pity for the children who are so innocent, intelligent and knowledgeable. If you see them, they look like grown up children who have accepted their surroundings and lifestyle and enjoy every opportunity they get. ARCHANA YADAV I felt that these children need people who won't treat them like children of sex workers. And they want people to spend time with them, like people normally do with other children.The sex workers also want to study and get out of this profession so that they can build a future for their children. But for some it is a compulsion and for some it is fun. And some are forced to stay there. KUMARI BHARTI Visiting an NGO for college assignment was the first opportunity for me to go and observe the working of an NGO. But an NGO that works for the development of sex workers and their children was something unique. I can surely say that I would not have had the chance in my life to visit brothels (GB ROAD) and interact with sex workers and their children. The best prt of doing the assignment or visiting the NGO was the interaction with children over there. The children were not less than any other child who lives a normal life. Instead they were sincere, sharp, intelligent and mature enough to understand the situation and circumstance of their life and at the same time full of innocence. The children have left a permanent impression on me that will stay with me throughout my entire life. SWATI NEGI To begin with, it was an experience unlike any other. The enthusiasm that the didis had to learn and educate their children further was amazing. The protectiveness of didis for the volunteers just touches you. The way the faces of these children lit up was heart warming. After my visit, i've developed reater compassion and respect for these women. I would love to get know these people, their life, dreams and aspirations further and contribute whatever little I can to their lives. URVI ARORA Our Team With The NGO Team THANK YOU!!!! KAT-KATHA