Fifteen adolescent girls – daughters of commercial sex workers – hoping for a new life had their dreams shattered after being evicted from their shelter at Santacruz. NGO Kranti ran the accommodation from a rented home whose landlord Dilip Mudaliar defaulted on mortgage dues.
Consequently, officials of the Mogaveera Cooperative Bank accompanied by the Mumbai Police drove the marginalised inhabitants out of the house on Ambedkar Jayanti last week, ending their four-year stay.
𝗡𝗼 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲, 𝗻𝗼 𝗱𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆, 𝗼𝗿 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: 𝗡𝗚𝗢 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿
“We are the lowest of Dalits, survivors of human trafficking and daughters of sex workers. We are a huge family of (rescued) sex workers with no home, no dignity or right of representation,” lamented Bani Das, founder of NGO Kranti that rehabilitates victims of trafficking and their daughters and educates the young girls for a better life. Besides providing a roof on their heads, the NGO uses therapy, theatre, travel, workshops and spirituality to help the girls discover their best potential.
“All the occupants, including the young girls, were thrown out on the street and the policemen mocked us, asking the girls to go back to Kamathipura,” said an enraged Bani Das. However, Santacruz police denied making any derogatory comments. “We were just following court orders to evict them. We are helpless,” said a cop.
𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗴𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗽𝗹𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽𝘀, 𝗸𝗲𝗽𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝟱-𝟲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀
Currently, the displaced girls are split in groups, kept in 5-6 places and shifted around while their academics has taken a back seat. “We always paid rent on time. Landlord failed to repay mortgage dues. We have not even got back our belongings and deposits for arranging a new home,” bemoaned Das.
Kranti's success can be tracked from the fact that one of their girls became the first Indian girl from a red-light area to study abroad while another went on to bag the UN Youth Courage award. In February, the NGO – founded by Das and Indian American Robin Chaurasia – was honored with the Free Press Journal Angels award given in the presence of Additional Director General of Police, Anti Corruption Bureau, Vishwas Nangre Patil.
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