SHWETA KATTI - A Girl From Kamathipura

Her mother used to clean utensils in the sex workers' homes. Raised in Mumbai's Red Light area, childhood never meant a game-toy for this girl. Since childhood, she has seen her mother struggling with pain and oppression. When she was 12, the stepfather and brother-in-law's evil eyes began to scare her. Mother was understanding everything, but was silent. Perhaps she was helpless in the face of circumstances. Then one day he told mother, I have to study. He was enrolled in a nearby government school. She was studying hard, but the identity of the red light area made her realize every moment that she is different from ordinary children. She realized that she was being given less attention than the rest of the children in school. She continued her studies despite struggling with neglect and despair. He was then approached by a non-governmental organization. After coming to the shelter home, she came to know about a new aspect of life. Last year she went to study at Bard University in America.


SHWETA KATTI




Colony atmosphere

Shweta Katti was born in Kamathipura area of ​​Mumbai. Kamathipura is a colony of sex workers. It is the third largest red light area in India. Shweta regained consciousness, then found herself in this slum environment. Beating and harassing sex workers was common. Shweta grew up seeing all this. He was very sad to see a woman beaten up. In childhood, he could not understand why all this was happening. The mother would go out to work early in the morning and Shweta would go to the nearby sex workers' house to spend time. He never saw children in school in the township. Nobody here talked about books or education.


Mother's sorrow

Mother was working very hard to drive home. Working in the homes of others from dawn to dusk and beating husband on coming home. This was his routine. She was illiterate, but knew the importance of education. He sent Shweta to a nearby Marathi school. Shweta was aware of her mother's compulsions. He had only one dream, that he should grow up quickly and take the mother far away, where there is no shadow of the evil in the red light area. Recalling those childhood days, Shweta often gets emotional, 'My mother is not a sex worker. Rental houses in the city were very expensive, so we moved to the Kamathipura township. I grew up among sex workers. I understand their sorrow and pain. '


School day

On reaching school, the girl was made to realize that she was different. Her biggest identity was that she is a sex worker colony. Living in a colony means that you are bad. No child was willing to befriend him. Those who had sympathy with him would ask, Why don't you come out of that colony? Why do you live in that slum? Shweta says, "Once you live in a colony, it is not easy to get out. Even after coming out of the colony, your identity does not disappear. Sex workers leave the red light area and go to some other area, then neighbors make it difficult for them to live. I know that many sex workers had to come back to the colony. '


painful memories

Let's not forget Shweta the old days. If she returned home after school and coaching in the evening, it would have been scary. Shweta says, people used to stare at me. Used to talk ugly about me. I used to get scared. I cried a lot, but could not say anything to anyone. Not that everything was bad in that colony. She would get a lot of love from the women living in the neighborhood. When the mother was not at home, the neighbor aunt would help her prepare for school. Many of them also inspired her to lead a good life by reading and writing. The most dreadful phase of Shweta's life began when the stepfather started harassing her. He would often beat and taunt her. He even physically exploited Shweta. In childhood, Shweta suffered a lot due to her dark complexion. Relatives used to say that you are black, no one will marry you. Children used to taunt in school, saying: You look so bad.


New journey

Now Shweta Katti, who was laughing and smiling, began to be Sahmi-Sahmi. His confidence was gone. Be it school or home, he would always suspect something untoward. Then an NGO approached him. This organization works for children of sex workers. Shweta moved to the Shelter Home of this organization. He was counseled there. After coming here, Shweta felt that she has come to a new world. Now she started laughing and giggling with the children. He got a chance to read and dance here. Counselor was surprised to see Shweta's communication style and talent. In a few days, Shweta started motivating the children like her in the workshop. After passing Inter last year, he applied for admission to Bard University in America. He got admission. Newsweek has included her in the list of promising women under 25 years of age. After this, seeing this girl who spoke for the rights of children in English, on the TV channels, she could not believe that she is the same Shweta Katti living in Kamathipura Basti.

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