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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

A celebration of freedom at GB Road

Independence Day is a celebration of freedom. Celebrating the day with the sex-workers and their kids at GB Road, Kat-katha, an NGO is Capital is organising a freedom walk and lot of other activities in the area.

delhi Updated: Aug 14, 2018 16:18 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
kat-Kalrav, the annual celebration on Independence Day is also celebrated as the foundation day for the NGO, Kat-Katha.
kat-Kalrav, the annual celebration on Independence Day is also celebrated as the foundation day for the NGO, Kat-Katha. (Facebook/Kat Katha)

Freedom doesn’t belong to just one segment of society. It is for all. We celebrate Independence Day watching our Prime Minister unfurl the Indian flag at Red Fort, but barely five kilometres from there is an area called GB Road, that presents a sharp contrast to the word. Infamous as the red-light area in the Capital, the women and children there are denied even basic rights. But it shouldn’t be this way, should it?

To make the day memorable for the sex workers and their children, Kat-Katha, an NGO in the Capital, organise their annual fest, Kat-Kalrav at GB Road. “Through this annual event, we want to give didis (sex workers) and their children a chance to reflect and relish the joys and fantasies of childhood, as most of them have been denied this as they were forced into sex work while in their teens,” says Gitanjali Babbar, founder of the NGO.

The staff and the volunteers of the NGO have decorated the area in red to give it an essence of red-light area. “It takes a month to organise this festival. There will be a walk called Azad Parindey. The idea behind this is to invite people from all walks of life and become azad, azad from their office, azad from their burdens, their work, and azad from the fakeness which one is expected to carry these days. Be free and bring that innocent child back and walk with him. Not just our didis but everyone. And our street of love popularly known as GB Road is the ground for the same. The road will offer lot of games and dance and celebrations in between,” adds Gitanjali.

There are a lot of other activities in store for the day. Stephney, a staff member says, “The motive behind this day is to bring happiness and joy in Didi’s life on a day when the country celebrates the same.We have prepared lot of activities such as street play, dance, flash mob, food stall by kids and didi’s, mehandi, art and the Azad Parindey walk in GB Road.”

How do the sex workers in the area feel about it. “I am happy and excited about it. Freedom is the opportunity to live the small moments of happiness with our children. An event like this gives us the opportunity to celebrate without boundaries and this year is special because both I and my child is participating. He is going to dance and I am really excited for that,” says a sex worker.

Another sex worker says, “Azadi se rehna, khana, ghumna, apne bachon ke saath time beetana, ye event hume ye sab mauka deta hai. We also want government to pay attention to us, our condition. We also want to live the dignity and freedom.”

Interact with the author on Twitter @ruchikagarg271

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 16:17 IST

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