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Kat-Katha Stories | Quarterly Newsletter | January-March 2019

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Quarter Highlights (Jan-Mar 2019)

Project – Field Research & Relationship Building

Lohri Celebration at GB Road

On 13th January 2019, loaded with happiness, love, popcorn, jaggery, and peanuts, Kat-Katha family danced to the beats of dhol around the pious fire of lohri. Holding hands, we offered prayers to bring peace and prosperity in the lives of women and children trapped in brothels. It was a joyful beginning of the new-year for all of us. We express our special thanks to all the volunteers and Delhi Police for supporting us in organising the event with great fervour. Such rare events offer a platform to all the women from different to come together and transform GB Road into a street of love.

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Volunteer Recruitment 2019

2018 had been a great year for Kat-Katha with new and exciting opportunities to serve our women and children. With the vision to channelize our energy in the right direction and to execute our projects more efficiently, the core team planned to recruit more volunteers for different projects like field, empowerment, academics, sports, and others. Kat-Katha enrolled more than 20 volunteers in the three recruitment drives held on 25th Jan, 8th Feb & 16th March 2019 respectively. With all the love and support, we now plan to expand and strengthen our roots. The only purpose is to support Didis and kids with a better approach and make GB Road “A Street of Love”.

Film Screening & Anniversary Celebration

On 18th Feb 2019, Kat-Katha’s founder, Gitanjali Babbar celebrated her first wedding anniversary in a way that won’t be forgotten anytime soon on GB Road, Delhi’s largest red light area. For the first time in the history of GB Road, a social gathering like this took place where more than 200 women and children from different brothels came together under one roof to celebrate the bond of love and companionship. Gitanjali shared her special day with the women whom she lovingly calls Didis, offering them a good time filled with enjoyment and gratification.

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The celebration added a little more joy and freedom to the lives of these women and children who turned up to bless the couple, breaking the shackles that bind their ankles everyday. The event was followed by a special screening of short film called “Bhukkad: The Hungry One” created by FCB Ulka & The Open Door Project, supported by The Millennium Schools. Founder of Educomp solutions, Mr. Shantanu Prakash and FCB Ulka’s CCO, Ms. Swati Bhattacharya supported and graced the event with their teams.

We are truly grateful to all the staff members and volunteers for their efforts to make this day happen. A big thanks to Laxman uncle for offering his space. It was a day of acceptance, compassion, and oneness for us.

Photography –The Magical Lens

Akshardham Temple Visit on Women’s Day

On 11th March 2019, we celebrated Women’s Day at Akshardham temple. The objective of the day outing was to offer Didis a good time outside of GB Road. More than 10 Didis went out with us to unwind and enjoy the light and water show experience at the temple. Didis visited Swami Narayan’s life exhibition and ate the meals together in the cafeteria. Volunteers escorted Didis to the temple and explained the concepts. Didis also took the boat ride and learnt about ancient architecture in the tour.

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We would like to thank Mohini Didi for sponsoring the visit. Our Didis had big smiles on their faces and really enjoyed the day.

Project – Bridge School (Activity Center) on GB Road

Snehalaya Learning Journey (Ahmednagar, Pune)

From 29th to 31st Jan 2019, Kat-Katha team embarked on a life-changing learning journey. 13 people including staff members, children, and didis travelled to Snehalaya (an NGO) in Ahmednagar, a town and district in the agricultural region of Maharashtra, India. The NGO provides sup-port for women, children and LGBT communities, who have been affected by HIV and AIDS, trafficking, sexual violence, and poverty.

The team visited Snehalaya School, Medical Centre, Earth Studio, Smile Sanitary Workshop, Community Radio Office to learn about ownership, leadership, and importance of punctuality. The team met Shri Anna Hazare and Girish Bhai and discussed about selfless service and how we should look at the entire world as our family. For more inspiration and learning, Snehalaya team escorted Kat-Katha members to Child line, Old Redlight Area, and Shivgaon (Ahmednagar’s red light district).

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After listening to Girish bhai’s empowering thoughts, the team bid adieu to the sacred land of Snehalaya. Kat-Katha feels blessed to have visited the NGO and to have earned the opportunity to learn so much from their values. The team returned inspired to bring much powerful change on GB Road. We express our highest gratitude to the PVR Nest and PVR Cinemas for supporting this learning journey for our team. Thank you from the core of our hearts!

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TFIx & Teach For India Fellows Collaboration Visit

On 26th Feb 2019, we received a team of 8 members from Teach for India(X) including Ms. Shaheen Mistri, Founder of TFI & Akanksha Foundation. Kat-Katha children greeted the TFI team with warm hugs. The evening started with silence, prayer and gratitude circle, followed by a round of introductions and a debriefing session on Kat-Katha which included our founder’s journey, our work, challenges, and introduction to staff members and their roles.

Later, Teach for India, an NGO working towards eliminating inequalities in Education in India, collaborated with us on this initiative and decided to send some of their fellows to our center. The fellows were quite intrigued by the story of how we had fostered this small yet loving family in Delhi’s biggest red-light district. Taking the discussion forward, we took the TFI team for a road visit till Brothel No.71, explaining to them our vision of making GB road a street of love. To make the experience more real for them, we organized a visit to the brothels where they got a chance to interact with our Didis and their children.

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To end with, we had planned an interactive session between the fellows and our volunteers for each to learn from the other’s diverse experience. The event came to a close with this and the fellows departed, taking a part of our story and leaving a part of their own.

National Science Center Visit

On 10th Feb 2019, 10 students and 4 volunteers from Kat-Katha visited science museum as an exposure activity. The kids learned various scientific concepts and developments from Stone Age to 21st Century.

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In the end kids were provided with snacks and science kits. Next day, the kids had a discussion circle about their learning at the science center.

Jashn-e-Kalam LIVE Storytelling

On a beautiful Sunday morning of 10th March 2019, Jashn-E-Qalam Storytelling kindled stories, smiles and sunshine at our activity centre on GB Road. Eminent television and theater artists Shashwita Sharma & Vicky Ahuja narrated the enchanting stories of Munshi Premchand and Ismat Chughtai to our children, women, and volunteers. It was an incredible experience for us to witness the magic of storytelling.We were truly moved by the art. Such events add to the confidence of our children as they have recently started their theater classes in our activity center.

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We are grateful to Bela Upadhyay from Delhi Eventalist for this amazing opportunity.. 

Celebrating Colors of Love

On 19th March 2019, Kat-Katha children, volunteers, staff members came together to celebrate the festival of Holi in the activity centre. Kids played Holi for more than 4 hours and painted the school with colors. Kat-Katha also welcomed, Ayesha Siddiqui, an artist and a survivor of Human trafficking from Bangladesh to join in the celebration and narrate her powerful story to inspire the team.

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Project – Empower Projects (Alternate Livelihood & Rehabilitation)

Maitri Meals Project Updates

It had been six months, since Maitri Meals began its second innings with PVR & Art of play. Maitri Meals has blossomed beautifully in past few months with the hard word of our Project Lead Sunidhi and her powerful team. It was always our dream to have our own house and a kitchen where more and more Didis could come together and support each other to lead a happy life of their own choice. In Maitri Meals, the dream is coming true. From 2 Didis starting the kitchen, we now have 5 women working full time in the project and preparing 150 meals a day. Latest to our team are Radha Didi and Shamim Didi who joined us in January. The good news is that the Didis have now started taking Literacy classes for English language basics. They are now becoming capable to read and write. Also, Kat-Katha is helping them in learning computer, marketing and sales, and business planning so that they can become complete entrepreneurs.

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Wall Painting Day – Expressing Love With Colors

On 17th March 2019, Maitri Meals kitchen was painted with colorful fruits and vegetables. Didis, kids, volunteers, and our entire team came together to paint the walls and dwell together in oneness.

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We thank Lahar Mehta (Lahar Design Studio) and Areen Attari for transforming the Maitri space into a magical kitchen garden !! Your thoughts, your ideas, your art, and your passion always inspires us. Gratitude for filling colours in our dreams and blessing the space with your love. Also, our Didis made delicious Gujiyas for Holi Celebration!!

SUCCESS STORIES – HIGHLIGHTS

PNB Unsung Heroes Award – Republic Day 

On the occasion of our 70th Republic Day, Gitanjali Babbar and our Maitri Meals didis were felicitated by Punjab National Bank Unsung Heroes Award. PNB staff pledged with Kat-Katha to respect and support trafficked women living in brothels of GB Road.

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Talk at Delhi School of Business Economics

On 7th March 2019, to commemorate International Women’s Day, Department of Business Economics invited Gitanjali Babbar (Founder, Kat-Katha) for an address to MBA Students. A gathering of over 100 students, the primary agenda was to introduce them to the journey of Kat-Katha. Suhail (Student at Kat-Katha) and Asmita (Coordinator, Field Research) also accompanied Gitanjali to the session.

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The event opened with a visualization activity hosted by Gitanjali and Asmita. The idea behind the exercise was to acquaint the students with the hardships in a sex worker’s life, the minimal choices she is blessed with and the hateful circumstances she is cursed with. The thought-provoking narration touched an emotional chord and left them inquisitive to know more.

Suhail shared his journey of association with Kat-Katha since the days of its inception. He talked about his struggles and how he found his muse in dance through Kat. Today, he manages a dance group called Mystical Movers and maintains his very own YouTube channel. To conclude, Gitanjali addressed the audience, talking about her riveting tale of founding Kat-Katha along with the highs and lows that she had to face. She explained about their vision to present a set of life choices to the women and children living in the brothels of GB road and instill a sense of confidence enabling that choice. As always, our story left a lasting impact on the audience and one of the students joined us as a volunteer right after.

 BIG Heroes Big FM

On 8th March 2019, International Women’s Day, Gitanjali along with our Maitri Meals Didis went LIVE on air with Richa Anirudh at 92.7 BIG FM in a show called BIG Heroes. Our Didis visited a radio studio for the first time and spoke LIVE to the people in Delhi, telling them about their life story, the challenges they face and their never-ending inspiration to work more and love more.

Global Action against Poverty (GAP) Event

On 1st Feb 2019, our team traveled to Ahmedabad for GAP (Global Action against Poverty) event. GAP 2019 was held at the Gandhi Ashram, the sacred space of the Mahatma. The theme of this event was ‘Impact Amplified’ with key intentions of actionable outcomes to be produced at the event.  The event was organised to amplify the impact of Social Changemakers’ journeys by supporting them with relevant business expertise. Our team had a great interaction with social change leaders like Rakesh Sharma, Ela Bhatt, Tushar Gandhi, Sunil Savara, Manisha Dahad and many more. Our kids performed at the event and our Didis talked about the success of Maitri Meals Project.

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American Center Panel Discussion

On 19th March 2019, Gitanjali Babbar was invited to “Light After Darkness”, a panel discussion on human trafficking and challenges to prevent the same. The panel included experts like Roma Debaprata (Founder of STOP), and other eminent social activists. The discussion revolved around the cause of human trafficking and how different organisations are dealing with the global problem. We thank American center for offering us a chance to speak and collaborate to wok together for the eradication of human trafficking. The event was followed with an art gallery exhibition by Ayesha Siddiqui, an artist and trafficking survivor from Bangladesh. Later, Ayesha Siddiqui stayed with Kat-Katha for next three days in Maitri Meals home. She painted the walls and celebrated Holi with the team.

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MEDIA ARTICLES

Sunday Guardian Newspaper

On 23rd March 2019, magic of our Bridge School on GB Road featured in Sunday Guardian Newspaper. Read the complete article here –https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/culture/activity-centre-delhis-red-light-district-lends-support-local-kids?fbclid=IwAR2kp3vXprCPSAUDeXvegJ6ndaj7zxfpv8GbI3nsMVwleVcGBnJWBe_RDCY

 

Hindustan Times Article

On 10th March, pictures clicked by The Magical Lens (A photography group by Kat-Katha’s children) got featured in Hindustan Times. Congratulations Arjun Rathor & Nimish Nimmo photography. We are proud of you. Thank you Danish Raza for writing this interesting and informative article. Read the full article here –

https://www.hindustantimes.com/art-and-culture/the-last-show-the-mujra-dancers-at-delhi-s-gb-road-struggle-to-keep-alive-the-once-thriving-form-of-entertainment/story-w4WFJRqg3tXupj5GdPTMaL.html?fbclid=IwAR3id_ST6KMA04UPtplBbSGfIMdruJJAspk-IErJxRRapq6MBvPSmxsGUVE


Testimonial – A Roller Coaster Ride

My journey in Kat-Katha has been a roller coaster ride. Four years back, when I was in my 3rd year of Engineering, I had come with three other friends as Pappine Consulting Group. We were welcomed with love and support from Gitanjali, Hari Uncle and all Kat-Katha team.
But, soon I realised that there is more to learn than consult.  I volunteered for 1.5 years, from strategy to fundraising to recruitments, what I enjoyed most was the Learning-By-Doing Science classes I started conducting for kids in bridge school.
Then I was away for 2.5 years for my job with a startup, but in spirit I always felt connected and got a lot of energy from this space.

Couple of months back, I started feeling very lost in my job, even though it was challenging and I learnt a lot, I felt disconnected from my heart and did not feel the same passionate for my job as I did in my college days when i used to volunteer.

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With the start of the new year, my roots started calling me, the need to give my time to a cause that had stayed with me so long was profound, so here I am, feeling more found than I have ever felt lost.


– Shruti Goel (Operations, Field & Empower Projects)

THANK YOU, WARRIORS!

KAT WARRIORS OF THE QUARTER (1)

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Kat-Katha Stories | Quarterly Newsletter | Oct-Dec 2018

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2018 has been a great year for Kat-Katha family. New projects, new goals, new relationships, and new dreams, we lived it all last year with immense joy and love. We successfully launched Maitri Meals 2.0, a safe space for our women and children, we celebrated dreams and danced our hearts out on Kat-Kalrav carnival. We cried, we laughed, we lost, we won but what mattered the most was that we came together as a family, in every situation, following our vision to make GB Road a street of love. Holding hands, we prayed, and braced ourselves for this new year with new hopes, new opportunities, and new challenges. We are grateful to each one of you for touching our soul and believing in our work. Your faith is our strength! Here’s how we closed this beautiful year – 2018:

Highlights of the Quarter (Oct-Dec 2018)

Kat-Yatra to Ayodhya: A Journey of Love & Wisdom

On 23rd December 2018, we started this surprise journey from Old Delhi with a total of four didis, seven kids and five team members with our hearts filled with Joy. Everything we did during this trip, whether it was travelling in the train, eating meals, talking with each other, at length late at night, annoying each other or being there for each other was all filled with laughter and togetherness.

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Kat-Katha was invited by Ms. Meenal Sachdev (Founder, Shiv Foundation & Connect India) as one of the NGO partners for a fund raising satsang (Ram-Katha, Manas-Ganika) by Spiritual Guru Morari Bapu dedicated to sex workers (Didis) from all across India. It was, in itself a very enriching experience to listen to Ram Katha and bring out the historical connections and proof of acceptance of these women during Lord Rama’s era. Our kids asked questions to Morari Bapu like “Why are we born in a brothel”, Bapu proceeded with an entire day’s Katha based on this question asked by Kunal, trying to make him understand how we cannot control where we are born or where we get to die at, but what we can control is how we live our life.

We also celebrated 25th December, Christmas, during this trip and all of us shared one moment from our lives that we are grateful for and we all went to explore the city and visit the infamous Ram Mandir and the next day Hanuman Garhi and Janak palace where our children Pari and Palak performed a dance on Ghoomar.


Diwali Celebrations on GB Road: Sweets, Hugs, and Prayers

On 5th November 2018, we celebrated Diwali on the streets of GB Road by lighting the brothels with Diyas and shared sweets with the Didis and children. After cleaning and making rangoli in the Kat-Katha school, all the team members and volunteers (Chitrali, Ayushmita, Cheshta and Atul) present sat in circle for prayer. After the prayer Aseem, shared with us, all the names of the seven leads and the respective three rooms in which each of the group had to visit. Then we all left for room no. 51 where we were joined by the PVR Nest team and our other volunteers. We decorated the room with lights, diyas and rangoli and then sat for prayer and sharing. Gitanjali di took us through the glimpses of Kat-Katha’s previous Diwali celebrations and then Kunal enjoined everyone present for prayer. Later, we celebrated Deepika’s birthday with a cake. After that, we got divided into the groups with leads and dispersed for celebrating Diwali with didis in assigned brothels. After lighting brothels and sharing sweets with didis, groups started coming back to the school. In the school some of our old volunteers and the team of ‘URS Production and The Wellness Studio’ joined us.

Photography by Akshay Kapoor & Parth Parekh

When all of the groups returned to school; everyone sat for food and sweets and our girls Pari, Palak and Deepika conducted prayer before food. After this everyone sat to share how were they feeling, being a part of Kat-Katha’s Diwali. Then the photo session took place and a lot of memories were captured through lenses. After bidding goodbyes and wishes to everyone the team sat for the reflection circle.

Phase I – Field research, mobilization, and relationship building

Awareness on Menstrual Hygiene in Brothels

Kat-Katha’s field team (Asmita Katti & Anita) collaborated with Sirona India to spread awareness on Menstrual Hygiene in the brothels of GB Road. In the months of October to December, the team distributed menstrual cups to about 100 women living across 50 brothels. The team also discussed with women about the issues they face during menstrual cycle and how do they maintain hygiene during those days. After a rigorous survey on the road, the team distributed the cups and sensitized them with its benefits. The process of feedback is under progress and the team has been able to create a healthy and hygienic environment for women living on GB Road through this project.

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

Kunal Cleared his Xth Exams

Kunal who is enrolled in The Hope Project for his schooling, sat for his secondary board exam in march-april 2018. In his results he passed all the subjects except English in which he was compartmentalized. Besides his study in Hope Project, Kunal was provided support in Kat-Katha as well yet somehow, his result did not turned out to be in his favour. In his own words, he believed that he was distracted at the time of study and he didn’t even realize how easily time flew by and the board exams were on his head. Breaking down into tears because of that feeling of failure became a part of daily routine while he was not able to make eye contact with his mother. Soon Kunal decided that this has to be changed and he started preparing for his exam on his own. He sat again for his English exam in Sept- Oct 2018 examinations and scored first division.

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Visit from Georgia University, Australia

On 15th November 2018, students pursuing Bachelors of Youth Work from Georgia University, Australia visited Kat-Katha.

We received a team of twelve students traveling from Australia at Ajmeri Gate. Asmita, Anita, Sangita, Neetu and Vanita were present at Kat-Katha to welcome them. The meeting started with silence, prayer and gratitude circle. Followed by the circle of introduction coordinated by Aseem. After that story of Kat-Katha was shared along with Gitanjali’s story and the RISE approach that Kat-Katha followed and the four phased approach that Kat-Katha is following now.

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Asmita, Sangeeta and Neetu prepared and served tea to all the guests. After that Aseem shared the achievements of the children (The Mystical Movers &The Magical Lens) and other different projects (Rishton ka Safarnama & Maitri Meals) taken up by Kat-Katha in its journey. In between the discussion Anita shared her experience about the project ‘Rishton ka Safarnama’; Sangeeta and Neetu also shared their journey and experience with Kat-Katha and Maitri Meals Project.

Children also shared their experience with the dance group. After that, questions were taken from the visitors by team members while Loganathan supported the discussion. After that Sangeeta, Neetu and Vanita thanked all the visitors for visiting and took their leave. Anita, Asmita and Aseem shared their stories and experience with Kat-Katha. Loganathan also shared about the caste system and devdasi community in a bit detail as it came into discussion. Kunal and Suhail did a dance performance upon the guests’ request, Suhail even taught them some steps on an English song. The visit came to a closure with a group photo. The team expressed their gratitude for the gift of books and toys from the visitors. We hugged and wished each other and Aseem went to see them off to their pickup point.

Clown POPO’s Visit to Brothels

If you’re laughing, you’re healing.

Clown POPO is from Project Laughing Curry (India) conceived by Clown without Borders (Sweden) and Rednose Entertainment (Mumbai) in 2012.

In their journey of spreading love and happiness by making people smile and laugh through their acts, Clown POPO landed on GB Road on 19th December 2018 to share some moments of joy with our didis and kids. Bhaskar, Sagnik and Tapasya from Clown POPO’s team visited brothels and Kat-Katha where they made our didis and kids laugh.

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Photography by Arjun Rathor (The Magical Lens)

Clown POPO visited Brothel No. 54 where they got ready with their costumes and instruments for the interaction. They Interacted with didis and kids in there and then brought kids along with them to Kat-Katha where they met other kids and performed the act they had come prepared with. After the act Kids gave the team a souvenir card they had prepared and bid goodbye with a promise to meet again very soon.

Phase III – Empower Projects to enable women and children

Maitri Meals Stall at Birla Soft Office

On the 2nd day of November 2018, Didis from Maitri Meals Project, initiated by Kat-Katha in collaboration with PVR Nest and Art of Play, had their first experience of organizing a food stall in Birla Soft office during Diwali celebrations. Our didis also made beautiful earrings to sell at their stall. It was a very beautiful learning experience which they enjoyed a lot and felt really good when they received positive feedbacks from their customers.

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Diwali Celebrations at Maitri Meals

We celebrated Diwali at our new home with the amazing team of Art of Play on 1st November 2018. Uur Didis decorated the house with flowers and lights, prepared food for everyone with love, and together we conducted a traditional Puja ceremony followed by Maitri lunch. It was a joyous occasion which brought moments of happiness in the kitchen. PVR Nest added to our joy by sending gift hampers for Maitri Meals staff on Diwali.

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Staff Training Programs

Samanvay Retreat, Ahmedabad 

Samanvay Retreat, held from 14th-16th December 2018, was a 3 day immersion designed to bring together people working in different regions for different or similar cause and hold discussion around the quality of change that we want to bring in our respective communities along with looking within ourselves and understanding why are we doing what we are doing.

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Our staff member, Sunidhi, along with our kids Suhail and Kunal who recently joined our team participated in the retreat and got to learn so much from people like Bhawana Behen, founder of the Utthan center for the mentally challenged, our beloved Jayesh Bhai, Anar Behen and many more interesting people. It’s been an incredible privilege to witness the outpour of love, community and connection that we all felt in just 3 days. It’s humbling to witness the unfurling of the intention of this gathering that has been in the soil for such a long time.

Email Writing Workshop

On 6th December 2018, the workshop on “Effective Email Writing” was specifically designed and conducted for the staff of Kat-Katha. The purpose of the workshop was to educate the staff about components of an email to understand the importance of each component like subject, body language, presentation, and so on. The workshop was interactive as live examples from Kat-Katha’s previous mails was displayed and the staff was asked to list down the errors. It helped the participants to understand the concept thoroughly like how to mail and address different recipients like donors, peers, and others. The objective was to differentiate between email writing and effective email writing. The workshop helped the staff members to become aware about the minute details and write better emails within the team and outside.

Success Stories

Chennai Visit – Rotary Club of Madras & Auroville

On 16th December 2018, Gitanjali Babbar (Founder, Kat-Katha) was invited for a talk by Rotary Club of Madras. Gitanjali spoke about Kat-Katha’s values such as Love, Faith, and Compassion with the senior members of Rotary Club. Suhail (Student at Kat-Katha) also shared his life story with the audience leaving an impact on their views about sex worker community. Post the session, Kat-Katha team (Gitanjali, Anurag, Suhail & Anita) visited Auroville and learned about the ecosystem and different projects in Auroville. The team visited Upassana Fashion and many other eco-friendly projects running successfully from many years at Auroville. Chennai visit was an enchanting trip for the team, full of love, values, and deep learnings. The visit was hosted and supported by Mr. Venkat and Mrs. Anju Saraff. We are truly grateful for this lovely experience.

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Testimonial: From Stereotypes to Finding a Family on GB Road 

This one year long journey as a volunteer has been a joyful learning experience which resulted in me becoming a part of Kat-Katha team in November 2018. When I look back in time and compare, I find my perception of G.B. Road on completely opposite ends. Today when I reflect upon my journey I can clearly see and feel that I have found a family in the form of teammates, Didis and most importantly, kids. Each day at Kat-Katha is a new one with its new challenges and new learnings and each day I feel grateful to the day I decided to come to G.B. Road for the first time.

In the last three months’ journey of handling responsibilities, dealing with kids, conversa ting with mentors, going out on learning trips and Kat-Yatra has made me even more responsible person towards my role as well as an individual. Each night I go to sleep with a promise to myself to make Kat-Katha Bridge school to be THE BEST among all the schools of Red light districts in India. With my love and belief in kids I find this to be an achievable goal.

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With Love,
Aseem Kumar Sharma

Upcoming Event

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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 GB Road, the largest red-light area in the National capital region. Looking back today, in a short span of a little over five years, Kat-Katha has transformed the lives of several women 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.

Website – http://www.kat-katha.org

 

 

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

 

The day I discovered my freedom…

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Whenever someone asked me what ‘being free’ meant to me, I used to give them a standard reply, “The day I start earning and be able to take my decisions on my own without any parental or societal obligations, I would feel free.” But 15th august 2014, has completely changed this definition.
When the whole nation celebrated 67 years of colonial independence, Kat parivaar celebrated Azaadi in the red light area of the capital. It had started out as someone else’s dream but being a part of the process of execution of that dream has its own set of advantages.
It was my very first project at Kat. And though I thought that my past experience of organizing such an event would prove to be a boon, I was totally wrong. Every place has its own characteristics and I had absolutely no clue about the intricacies of this place and the people who live here.

When I had first walked down the pavement of G.B. road, I was nervous. It was not only because that road had a stigma attached to it but because I rarely saw any women in that entire area and that, in turn magnified the intensity of that stigma. People keep staring at you as you walk by. That was the first time that I had lost a part of my confidence. I was afraid of walking alone on that road. I felt trapped in my own web of perceptions that had juggled up in my mind. It knows what is right, but still reacts to what has been fed to it since time unknown.

The second challenge that arrived quite soon was the difficulty in understanding the differences in expectations that people had from this carnival. Time constraints never allowed everyone to come together and lesser successful outcomes at times had only increased the skepticism about the whole event.

Nevertheless as the days passed by, things started taking shape. That’s what they told me about Kat-Katha, “There’s some magic here that sets everything right in the end.” I could see that magic taking a shape. It was less than a week for Kat-kalrav, and the team had started spreading its aura everywhere on G.B. road. We painted the G.B. walls together, invited every shop on the road to be a part of it. The most excited were the kids who made all the efforts to make it the best day for the didis and other kids who live here.

15th august was madness for me, as it was for every volunteer who was a part of this team. But still, I remember each and every moment of it. I remember the happiness that existed at each corner of the tent, I remember the smiles on the face of didis and kids as they danced freely on the stage, I remember the tears of joy that trickled down the faces of so many who made it happen.

And now, after almost a month, when I think about Kat-Kalrav, I feel it was a start of a revolution in true sense. It was a revolution that not only brought a positive change in the lives of didis and kids for some time, but also brought about a transformation in our hearts and minds. I found love and acceptance there and it answered all my fears and worries. It left me with a deep feeling of belonging to that place. And now when you ask me what freedom means to me, I’d say, “Freedom is being able to do whatever you want to do without the fear of being suppressed or the fear of failing or being judged. The day I overpower all my fears, I’ll be free.”

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– Divya Gupta

Dreams Do Come True ..

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My day at Kat-Katha began, at around 9 am, when I requested Nimish to show some of the photos he had clicked recently over the computer, as then I would have some rough idea to how exactly he has to get molded in order be a better photographer. The photos surely were appealing but all they needed was a little brushing up & so, we decided to head to Jama Masjid for a photowalk.

9.30 am, as we set off towards the monument, I snapped a moment to ask on our way about how does he feel while clicking & when picture turns out good? The glimpse of that smile that drew on his face, when he told how good he feels, was more than enough for me to get the vibes that he surely enjoys clicking.
He intently listened to all the little techniques I told him about photography. Within 15 mins. of walk, we were there & I asked him to click whatever that looks good according to him & so he did. Beginning with the main building of Jama Masjid itself, all I did was just told him which angle would be the best & he was his own master afterwards.

Once I told him how one can use something as a frame of a subject & how to look for patterns, he himself started seeking for them & showed me the frames & patterns which even my eyes gave miss. He has the strength, patience and the passion to reach for the stars. As dreaming ties all the mankind together, I could see the universe making his dream fall in place.

In an hour we decided to wind up, as the sun started scorching bad. At the end I couldn’t be happier enough to see that satisfied smile on his face, a smile of
an achievement, a smile that was sending a vibe that he was dreaming, dreaming of doing in life something that would make him always Happy !

Image!

‘All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them’ – Walt Disney

Love,
Hardik Gaurav

The Power of Prayer !

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It was a regular Saturday for me at Kat-Katha. Yes, I was late again. I walked through the narrow lanes of old Delhi, struggling amidst thelewals, rickshawalas, cows, dogs, cats and other hurried beings, and somehow managed to enter Shahtara Gali. There’s something in the air of that place which actually repaints you with new colors of life. The aura was perfumed with the delicate smell of tempered mustard seeds, turmeric, jeera, and other Indian spices. I suddenly felt hungry. Thrilled prattle of voices mixed with holy Islamic hymns offered a great sense of energy. I climbed up the steep stairs of our school slowly, catching some breath.
As soon as I opened the half-shut door, the kids came running and shouting. We all hugged each other in the very next second. It was more of a ritual now, especially at a place where Love is the only religion. Before I could have become conscious, I realized that I was being pulled from every direction. Babujaan wanted to climb up on my shoulders, Fiza asked (actually ordered) me to lift her up in the air, Pari commanded me to play a swing for her, and everyone else had some or the other claims ready with them to just fire upon anyone who comes their way. This was when the kids had already been worn-out of rolling and jumping in the morning before I came. They’re extremely energetic, believe me!

I straight away went inside the study room, trying to be in charge of everything around me as there was no other volunteer, but all goes in vain when our little girls just want to play and play again. I thought for a minute and decided to play “Fill in the blanks” with our children. I thought it’d be learning and having fun at the same time. They sat with their tables, boxes, etc and asked me about the game.
At first, I thought that they would kill me as soon as I tell them it’s “Fill in the blanks”. To my surprise, I’m still alive as they happily agreed to play the game. I crossed my fingers and told everyone to settle down. I recited the rules to them. I asked them to split into teams of four each. There were Nimish, Kunal, Babujaan, Pari, Komal, Fiza, and Aslam. I wanted them to muddle up to make the game a bit fairer but Pari, Komal, and little Fiza wanted “Boys versus Girls” without realizing the fact that it was more of a knowledge game, and Nimish, Kunal & Babujaan were in higher grades which makes them more clued-up in every sense. The girls were adamant on their decision and I had to agree in the end. For me, now the game was completely one-sided with our confident big boys- Nimish, Kunal, Babujaan, and Aslam in the same team while on the other hand we had mysterious, magical and happy-go-lucky team of Pari, Komal and Fiza. Yes, it was four big boys versus three pretty girls!

In no time, they segregated themselves and sat according to their teams. Our kids are so smart that they would arrange the board, marker, and duster before you could ask for it.

We started the game. I made two columns for writing the marks and left some space for writing incomplete words. Pari was the captain of girls’ team and Nimish was leading the boys. ‘Okay, I am writing the first word. It could be anything for example, a fruit, an animal, a bird or even someone’s name. 5 marks for each correct alphabet you guess, 0 for wrong, 20 if you guess the whole word in a go, -10 for wrong guess, if you want a hint you need to give me your 10 points, and you can only speak one alphabet at a time as the turn will keep on rotating if you’re incorrect,’ I hope I made myself clear. They nodded so confidently as if they’ve been playing this game from past several years. They were looking unbearably cute!

The room was full of charts of Vehicles, fruits, vegetables, and a picture of Mahatma Gandhi just above the white board. I looked around for a word and started writing the first one.

O _ A _ _ E

They are smart enough to follow my eyes and look for the word around them but I told them not to do so. Making another attempt to make the game unbiased, I gave the first chance of guessing to girls. They thought sincerely, sincere enough to blow me off. ‘One alphabet at a time,’ I announced again. They actually discussed amongst each other for that single alphabet which shows a trait of team work in them, I was delighted to see that.
After a minute of murmuring, Pari said ‘P’. I made a face and slashed the letter. It was incorrect. The boys laughed at them and the girls seemed unhappy with their first guess. The clock rolled by and kids were guessing the alphabets one by one. Komal said R and they won first 5 points then Nimish’s team said N and won their first 5. They kept on shouting alphabets. Nobody asked for a hint.

ORAN_E

At this, Babujaan guessed the whole word completely and won 20 more points for that. The girls were at 5 and disappointed. They even said that I am boy so I am playing in favour of boys. I had nothing to defend myself. I just smiled and wrote the next incomplete word. The game was going good. They boys played extremely well while the girls also managed to get some points for guessing a few right alphabets for the next few words. A lot happened in next few minutes. Kunal and babujaan giving high-five to each other for getting right alphabets while Pari, being the captain, scolding Fiza for guessing wrong alphabets randomly without any discussion and wasting crucial chances.

They were lost amidst words in that small room. The answer to every question was around them in those chart papers. There was a stage where Boys were at 65 and girls at 30.

This was the time for the last and final word. Boys were already winners according to the score card. The girls were unhappy. The feeling of being defeated by boys was insufferable for three of them. As I announced the score the girls were like ‘We’re going, all boys are cheaters!’ Pari even said that ‘Agar koi mam hoti toh hume hi jeetati.’

For a moment I felt responsible for their loss. I said ‘Okay, this is the last word. Though the boys are clear winners but if girls want to win then they need to guess the correct alphabets and even the whole word at some stage.’

I looked up and started writing the last and final word.

M_H_ _ M _ G_N_H_

Well, the kids were taken aback as for them it was a long word. But the boys seemed over confident while girls were clueless again. Pari started with ‘P’ again. For her every word must have a ‘P’ in it being her favorite alphabet.

It was wrong. I slashed it as she made a face again. The room echoed with boys’ laughter.

After a few wrong guesses Babujaan made his first correct guess ‘T’

M_H_TM_ G_N_H_

Everyone looked around for the word. The even stood up and went near the chart papers but found nothing. The girls now played for the sake of playing. They seemed no more interested in a lost game.

I told them that there’s only one letter that’d make them understand the word.

The boys did their first mistake by asking for a hint being over confident. They thought that they will guess the whole word but it turned it the other way.

‘Sir, we need hint,’ said Nimish. ‘Okay, I will deduct 10 points from your score,’ I said as they nodded. For girls it was another partiality from my side.

‘This is the name of a person, whom we admire, follow, and love. He preached peace and kindness all around the world and helped India to get independence.’ It was now 55 (Boys) and 30 (Girls) The boys thought for a minute. Girls were busy packing their stuff. They knew they had lost it but Fiza paid attention to what I said.

Babujaan seemed to know it but he didn’t want to take any risk.

Boys guessed a wrong letter and the turn was with the girls again. I told the girls to be careful, and made them believe that they could still win it.

I don’t know why, but Pari said to Komal and Fiza Oye Komal, Fiza, chalo Pray kartey hain.’

I was like what? Pray? Before I could have managed to understand this gesture, I saw the girls closing their eyes, folding hands and murmuring something within.

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The boys laughed again but the girls were so much into the prayer that they didn’t pay heed to what was happening around. They prayed with their eyes on God, not the difficulties. They surrendered every emotion and dwelled into faithfulness.

They say that you never pray alone. All the angels around pray with you, they look into the sanctity of your heart while you pray, and in this world nothing is pure than the heart of a child.

The very next moment they opened their eyes I smiled at them and told to guess an alphabet. Komal said ‘D’ winning 5 points making it to 35.
M_H_TM_ G_NDH_

Boys guessed another one wrong. The next turn was with girls, and Pari said ‘I’, she always guessed the alphabets from her own name. But unfortunately she didn’t say ‘A’.

The girls were now at 40 and boys at 55. It still wasn’t clear to the kids. They still were confused regarding that word. Nimish guessed another wrong one. The game seemed to shift on girls’ side. I don’t know how.

And guess what? They prayed again, they prayed whenever it came to them. This was the time when boys started making fun of them but they prayed.

I told them to make a guess carefully. I repeated the hint, the girls paid attention. I don’t how, when and why but Fiza suddenly looked above my head, she saw something that no one else saw, she realized something that nobody else even thought about.

‘Gandhi Jweeeeeeeee,’ Fiza said in her usual style, raising her hand high in the air. The boys looked at me. I looked at Fiza. Pari also looked at Fiza but in anger, she thought that Fiza had made a wrong guess and they have completely lost it now.

‘Wah! Sahi Jawaab.. It’s Mahatma Gandhi. Girls have won the game,’ I said as I was in a complete shock. I was absorbing the fact that girls have won. I spontaneously went to the girls and hugged them. They boys seemed traumatized. They fought amongst themselves. They were angry for they didn’t pray.

The scoreboard said – GIRLS (60) BOYS (55)

The girls stood up, danced crazily, and THANKED GOD. The boys were jealous now and blamed me for cheating. I was screwed from both the sides.

I don’t know if it was co-incidence or not, I don’t know if should even use the word miracle but this particular instance has made me believe in the Power of Prayer.

This might be a very small incident, small enough to be explained in a paragraph, but this happening has kept Pari’s faith intact and made it even stronger than before. For her, now, prayer has not only the power of saving someone’s life or winning a game but it makes her feel safe. Komal thinks that prayer has power to get hold of all the energy in this world. For Fiza, prayer is simple two-way conversation between her and God. The best thing was that Boys thought that they should’ve also prayed. So, it has not only made girls win but also created ripples of the power in prayer. For them it’s the best way to draw strength from heaven. They don’t just pray before eating or while closing the school, they pray in their deepest, darkest moments, what really got them through was a prayer. Sometimes the prayer is ‘Help me.’ Sometimes the prayer is ‘Thank you.’ What they’ve discovered through these small incidents is that intimate connection and communication with the Creator will always get them through because they know their support, their help, is just a prayer away.

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LOVE ALL ! SERVE ALL ! THANK YOU !!

– Anurag Garg


We do believe we’re all connected. We do believe in positive energy. We do believe in the power of prayer.”

Initiating change in the lives of sex workers: Gitanjali Babbar at TEDxGBU

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Kat-Katha’s vision is to present a series of life choices to the women and children living in the brothels of GB Road and instill a sense of confidence in them to design and act towards a life of choice.

Gitanjali Babbar was initially involved with National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) where she got an opportunity to work with eunuchs. It was during this stint that Gitanjali first visited GB Road and interacted with the sex workers there. To her horror, she discovered the grim reality of these sex workers serving 20-40 customers in a day. They needed a support system to talk to about their personal issues apart from the regular safe sex information. Gitanjali did just that. She set up Kat-Katha- an initiative that aims to provide a better life for sex workers and opportunities to find alternative livelihoods.What makes Kat-Katha unique is the way they operate. Community participation is very much at the core of this initiative instead of the conventional raid, rescue and rehabilitation route. Gitanjali encourages GB Road sex workers to join mainstream life by teaching them arts like stitching, embroidery, painting and encouraging them to explore alternate life choices, both within and without the world of brothels. Today through her initiative, Geentajali works for 3500 to 4000 sex workers and continues to be an agent of change in our society.

Kat-Katha works with the commercial sex workers of Garston Bastion (GB) Road and their children. GB Road is the largest red light area in India’s capital city, Delhi.  The organisation employs a four prong “RISE” approach, which includes raising awareness of Rights, Integration with mainstream society vocational training, Skills training, and Education for both women and their children. Kat-Katha aims to impact 4000 women in 77 brothels of GB Road and to create a replicable model that can be used to offer choice and opportunity to sex workers across the country.

With a bustling economy that touches more than  4000 sex workers and pimps, policy and remedial interventions have evaded GB Road despite the fact an overwhelming 60% of women state that their profession was not one of choice, but poverty and desperation. Sex work has formed the core of the GB Road economy for over 2 centuries and has been untouched by reform through colonial times as well as in the independent Indian state. Sex workers’ children face social exclusion and have little opportunity for education. Through a vicious cycle that limits their opportunity and choice, many of these children are then forced into prostitution as well.

Listen to Gitanjali Babbar’s inspirational TED Talk, leave your valuable comments, and spread the word.
For more visit us at facebook.com/katkathaa or contact us at katkathaa@gmail.com

Love 🙂