I Am From Red Light Area Kamathipura!


This story is for those who have tons of excuses for not being able to do what they wanted to do or what they wanted to become!

I am sure this is going to bring a clear sense of understanding and some inspiration to get up and start walking.

“I’ve grown up in a red light area, surrounded by the flesh trade all my life.

At 12, I’ve been asked for my ‘rate’ and cried myself to sleep because I didn’t understand it.

But you want to know what’s worse?

It’s that the men who came to ask would all be from the ‘upper class’ as you call it with shiny cars and the perception that they could ‘buy’ anything. But the women there, are my family…they’ve taken care of me when my mother would have to go work at a factory nearby and treated with me so much love and kindness, but I still grew up with a very low self esteem because of my dark colour.

I don’t know why you have to be fair to be beautiful…and because I’m dark I’ve always been called ugly. Once my 12th standard ended, I decided to make a change. I told the people at my Municipal school that I wanted to study, learn English and make something of myself.

That’s when I went to an organization called Kranti.

I spent the next year, travelling across India conducting workshops on sex education, and that’s when I realized that not everyone judges me for my background and kind of got my self esteem back.

I’ve always been a day dreamer, so I randomly just said it out loud one day that I want to go America (at that point I didn’t even know if it was a continent, a city or a country) and through Kranti’s efforts I got a full scholarship at Bard College to study Liberal Arts. We crowd sourced the rest of the money for my accomodation and day to day expenses and my life has just turned around…I’ve been to semester at Sea, I speak fluent English and have amazing entrepreneurial ideas to make a difference to my home…to Kamathipura.

Yes, open your mind about my home. Accept that people have choices and know that so many women there are in it by choice…because it’s their source of livelihood. As Indians, we need to judge less and accept things that are not always in our comfort zone, because my background is not my weakness…

I’m me, and no location can define who I am.”

Don’t we all shackle ourselves in the false limitations of our circumstances and situations?

Don’t we know that we can be what we want to be, only if we start taking few steps forward?

Don’t we just keep doing nothing and blame the situations and outer factors for our own failures?

Well, this story makes me believe all that and much more!!

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