In one of the streets of North Kolkata a beautiful graffiti was painted covering a long area of around 300 feet. This colourful long stretch on the street of Ahiritola has been dedicated to the life of the sex workers and speaks out the hardships and circumstances that pull a woman into the trade of flesh most unwillingly. This was unveiled on Monday, the auspicious day of Mahalaya.
The Ahiritola Jubakbrindo Durga Puja Committee here aims at spreading awareness among the common people about the lives of these people looked down upon by the community. they have tried to beautifully highlight the lives and struggles of the sex workers through this painted street. As per the presently working president Uttam Saha the graffiti has been designed on the lives of the brothel inmates at Sonagachi. This area is known to be the largest red light area and is only a kilometre away from Ahiritola.
It is rather interesting to know that the soil from the brothel is considered most essential in the making of the Durga idol. The soil is an important ingredient for the ‘Devi Protima’ or the idol of goddess Durga. Durga Puja is the most auspicious puja of Bengal, while using the soil for construction of the idol is definitely a matter of pride and honour for them.
All the gloomy as well as happy colours were used depicting the several shades of their lives. The hardships and circumstances in the live of the sex workers are truly defined through these shades of several colours.
A portion of the graffiti shows three women peeping out from a door and are seen with distorted line of kumkum which signifies their tragic life story. This is a touching story of these woman belonging to this community.
There were many artists who enthusiastically participated in the graffiti project. Their views about the sex worker says that a women gets into this trade due to either trafficking or for the sake of running their family. There should not be any disparity on womanhood as we celebrate it in the form of goddess Durga.
Durbar Mahila Samiti is a known umbrella organisation of the sex workers. It has more than 1,30,000 registered members out here. These members were very happy indeed that such a theme has been chosen by the puja committee which describes the lives and struggles in the lives of a woman.