Kat-Katha Stories | Quarterly Newsletter| Jul-Sep 2018

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Highlights of the Quarter

Kat-Kalrav: ‘Bachpan ka Pitara’ & ‘Azad Parindey’

15th August 2018

Kat-Kalrav is the yearly festival that Kat-Katha celebrates on Independence Day with the larger Kat family on GB Road to spread love and happiness. This year, Kat Katha celebrated the fifth edition of Kalrav Carnival. GB Road, Delhi’s largest red light area was decorated with colourful flags, and positioning kiosks of “chuski” and “bhutta” stalls, people playing Gully-cricket and Badminton organised by “Born to play”, speakers blazing with music, and everything that reminded people of their childhood. The children of the school displayed true essence of their childhood by managing the programme; be it praying, painting, playing games, and dancing with the support of Delhi Police and URS Productions.

 

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Kat Katha team performed the most joyful Flash mob, for our Didis on the road, choreographed by Kapil, our dance teacher. By the time the ‘Aazad Parindey’ walk for freedom began, we had more Didis and kids coming out of the brothels and join us in the dance. Dastak, a play on gender-based violence was also performed by Asmita Theatre group while Manzil Choir, a band, performed famous Kabir songs that concluded the Kat-Kalrav – The Annual Fest.

Love Sonia Special Screening with PVR

27th September 2018

PVR Nest & PVR Cinemas hosted a special screening for Kat Katha of “Love Sonia” at PVR Plaza New Delhi to spread awareness about the issue of human trafficking. We hosted various foundations like Manzil, Childscapes, Rescue foundation, Saajha and Indus Action for the screening of the movie. Didis and children from GB Road had participated in strength. Ms Swati Maliwal, DCW Chairperson, also graced the occasion and shared her stories of struggle and unending efforts to stop sex -work. Kat-Katha’s team left the theatre with heavy emotions but with a renewed resolve to work harder to end forced sex-work and make every red light district a street of love.

 

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Kat-Katha’s Vision Cycle Highlights

Phase I – Field Research, Mobilization, and Relationship Building

Conversation on Intimate Hygiene with Sirona

5th September 2018

Sirona India, a company working on health empowerment of women by providing practical solutions, organised a talk session with female members of Kat-Katha regarding its products. The team was told about the use of PeeBuddy, with which women can stand and pee, and the use of menstrual cups, for making mensuration pad free. Kat-Katha along with Sirona India will now reach out to the women on GB Road and educate them on the use of simple self-help devices for better health and comfort.

Motivation, Passion, and Ambition with Drishti Foundation

19th August 2018

Smita Di and Jyoti Di from Drishti Foundation, who have been a constant source of support, came down to visit the Kat-Katha family from Mumbai. All the volunteers, children and Didis sat down for a sharing circle in a brothel. Smita Di sat down with the Kat cherubs to understand their motivations, passions and ambitions in life and the second session was with the Maitri Meal team where Smita Di urged our Didis to talk about their expectations and experiences of the Maitri Meals project. Kat cherubs proactively offered to dance, ending the visit on a beautiful note.

Phase II – Bridge School on GB Road (Bridging the gap to Freedom)

Celebrating the love of Teachers

5th September 2018

This Teachers’ Day, our kids surprised us with a day like no other; an emotional ride for some of us, nostalgic for others. The kids welcomed the staff and volunteers by washing their feet and taking blessings from their gurus, as per our Indian tradition. The staff and volunteers were overwhelmed and were glad to be on the receiving end of the celebrations and proud to see their kids managing the activities so beautifully. We were also joined by our former volunteers, Padmashree Deepa Ma’am, our anchor donor and supporter Smt. Madhu Dusad, and Sirona India team to add joy to the celebrations. The coup de grace, was the gifts made by the kids;  paper weights along with a challenge; ranging from treating domestic help kids with a party or to feed homeless kids.
Teachers Day

Learning with Creativity Adda

12th July and 14th September 2018

Creativity Adda, a project initiated by Shikshantar Andolan, is based on the pedagogy of self-designed learning and draws inspiration from Gandhi’s “Nai Taleem”, Tagore’s Shantiniketan, democratic school movement,  unschooling/home schooling  movement and Swaraj University in Udaipur, Rajasthan model of supporting young people to craft their own learning journeys. Ashish, head of Creativity Adda at the Mukherjee Nagar Centre, visited Kat Katha School to make the activity room more-friendly and appealing to the kids. He suggested various feedback mechanisms to our teaching staff and held activities with kids to know more about our work. This was followed by a visit to Creativity Adda by Stephany, our Education Lead to gain more insights for making education more fun and engaging at Kat-Katha.

Phase III – Empower Projects to enable women and children

Maitri Meals: Friendship through Food

16th September 2018

Maitri Meals, an initiative by Kat-Katha became operational. The initiative where Didis from GB Road are daily cooking 130 mid-day meals for children of four PVR Nest centres across Delhi, co-managed by Art of Play. PVR Nest is a pioneering endeavour in the Indian entertainment industry which rehabilitates the “Children at Risk” in the vicinity of PVR complexes. Art of Play works on providing experience of organized sports to these children with a purpose on developing their Social, Emotional and Physical skills.

We were also supported by, Socials Offline who provided us infra for the Kitchen and the planning of Menu. Inner Wheel, one of the largest women’s service voluntary organisations, helped us with setting up the home for Didis.  AVDS (Arun Verma Design Studio) gifted us office furniture and computer facilities. Family and friends of our founder Gitanjali, also pitched in with their support. Sirona India organised a training by professional cooks. Maitri Meals has benefited largely due to their support and are confident that the Didis will take this as their commitment to make the project successful for themselves.

 

 

Staff Training Programs

Non-Violent Communication: Learning Language of Love

23rd and 24th July 2018

“enCompassion”, a social enterprise which provides workshops and trainings on Non-Violent Communication, conducted one such workshop with Kat-Katha for two days. The workshop enabled the staff and children of Kat-Katha to experience the importance of positive speech, and ways to adapt it in their daily lives.

The emphasis was on how our needs and expectations determine the way we perceive the things around us, and how we interact with our loved ones. The representatives from enCompassion talked about the values of trust, pain, growth, healing, amongst others. The Kat family learnt about the ways one can practice self-care and growth. The stark difference between empathy and non-empathy and the ways to incorporate positive emotions in our lives was also discussed.

 

 

 

The Vaginal Dialogue: Destigmatising Sexual Health

Haiyya was founded in 2013 with the vision of bringing societal change by action of the collective. Their flagship project, #HealthOverStigma focuses on women’s health, sanitation and menstrual hygiene, sexuality, and others. Under this project, the representatives from Haiyya visited the school and had a workshop with the staff and volunteers. The workshop revolved around menstrual hygiene, safe and legal medical termination of pregnancy, good sanitary practices, etc.

Manuals on the practices were shared with the Team. The myths and taboos that surround our society and inhibits free flow of conversation around topics like safe sex, contraception, menstruation, and others was also discussed freely.

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Other Success Stories

Kaala: Story of a Sex-Worker, Beyond Sex-Work

21st July 2018

The “Kaala” play was about the life of a sex worker, who had become habituated to her life in the GB road; and how a chance encounter changed her life. The screenplay revolved around the way people’s lives are intertwined with each other and how our past experiences affect our destiny. Based on a true story, Kaala portrayed the journey of a young man who chooses to look at a woman beyond the fact that she is a sex worker, and as he indulges into self-introspection, ends up falling in love with her.

It was a fundraising event for Kat-Katha, and all the money that was raised through the sale of tickets was donated to Kat.

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Gong Festival: Kat-Katha Extends a Supporting Hand

18th August 2018

Kat-Katha’s partners Deepti and Aman, who frequently conduct sound therapy/ sound healing sessions for our volunteers, organised a ‘Gong Festival’ and invited Kat-Katha as a partner NGO. A troupe of 15 gong players mesmerized the audience during the concert. Kat-Katha volunteers supported in managing the audience of over 500 people including 100 cancer patients seamlessly.

Gong Festival

Youth Alliance Alumni Meet: Crooning to the Bhajans of Sant Kabir

19th August 2018

Team of volunteers from Kat Katha attended the Youth Alliance’s Alumni meet held in Delhi. For the volunteers, this alumni meet was a forum to connect with new people, share experiences and bond over Kabir bhajans by Shabnam Varmani.  Kat Katha also got an opportunity to build new relationships while nurturing old ones with sister organisations such as Moved by Love.

Sound Therapy: A Healing Session for Volunteers

Our volunteers who selflessly support Kat-Katha in its cause to end forced sex-labour at GB Road were in for a treat when we organised a ‘Sound Therapy’ session.

The aim of the session was to equip our volunteers with an effective way to beat the stress of our humdrum lives. The organiser, Deeptiji, who is a practitioner of various alternative healing and self-discovery tools likes Rebirthing- Breath-work, Past Life Regression, Inner Child Healing, Sound Therapy has been associated with Kat-Katha for over several months now and very graciously offered support to our volunteers once again through her therapy sessions.

Volunteer Testimonial

It’s been just three months but seems like a lifetime.

When I joined Kat-Katha three months back, scared, naïve and confused, I never expected to embark on a journey that would change me forever. But, I grew out to become a more positive, loving and calm teammate. After working with almost all Teams, I chose to work with the Education Team because my love for Kat-Katha’s children had outgrown everything else. I had attended many major events in these three months, but the event that is most special to me would be Kat Kalrav even though I wasn’t present there. It taught me how it’s not important to be perfect if it’s done with all the love and happiness and with the people you love. I can’t be more grateful to my Didis, my kids, fellow volunteers and the hardworking staff to believe in me and acknowledge my efforts to return something to the society.

Cheshta Miglani
IP College for Women, Delhi University



– Cheshta Miglani
IP College for Women, Delhi University

 

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About Kat-Katha

In the year 2013, the seed of an unusual idea, took shape in the unlikeliest of places in India. Registered under the Societies Registration act 1860, Kat-Katha was born on the streets of G B Road, the largest red-light area in the National capital region. Looking back today, in a short span of over five years, Kat-Katha has transformed the lives of several women professional sex workers on GB road. Since its inception, Kat-Katha has been guided by the vision of ending ‘Forced Sex work’. Founded and shaped by experienced, passionate and professional social agents, Kat-Katha has today established itself as an organization synonymous with trust, respect and deliverability among its diverse stakeholders. Over the years, the efforts by Kat-Katha have been recognized at several prestigious forums including L’oreal Paris Femina Women Awards, Times Now Amazing Indian Award, Zee TV Fempowerment, Mahindra Rise Award, and so on. Kat-Katha began the transformation process with a four pronged approach called RISE (Rights, Integration, Skills, and Education). With time, as the organization matured, Kat-Katha discovered a vision cycle comprising four phases; Field Research and Relationship Building to strengthen the roots on GB Road, establishing the Bridge school at GB Road to bridge the gap to freedom, Empower Projects to enable the women and children to lead a powerful life of their own choice, and finally, Freedom from forced ‘sex work’. Kat-Katha is on a journey to accomplish the Freedom for women and children by achieving the goals in first three phases.

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