Pic courtesy :Google
Kamathi Pura in Mumbai has always been in news for obvious reasons. It is a place visited by many but often it is unspoken about.
Eisha was an inhabitant in the darkest alleys of this red-light area since she was a teenage girl. When the world sleeps, Eisha and many like her wake up to a different reality.
The city that resembles a civilised place in the day light , suddenly changes its colour in the darkness of the night. It suddenly boils down to this place where every flesh in the body of the girls are weighed in terms of money. It is a task that has to be performed irrespective of any condition where a normal human being would give up. The pain, the anguish, the complains go unheard. It is either you perform or perish.
When Eisha was admitted to this place, she was Eishwari! She was her mom’s dearest. She came from a poor family and they never had anything sufficient that a family requires. Be it food, be it clothes or the roof under their head, they always struggled as a family. But all the children were loved by their mother.
Soon misfortune struck and a dreaded disease compelled Eishwari to loose her mother. Very soon the entire world changed for her. She along with her sister were tortured and beaten by by their alcoholic father. One fateful day they were both sold in the streets of Kamathi Pura by none other than their father!
Eishwari died many deaths before becoming Eisha to realise that one’s own father, who is supposed to be the guardian, can sell his own children! It was not long for her to understand that even her own body is not hers. She knew that every day she had to pay a price to stay alive. The price was her own skin. She had many mental breakdowns. However she always came back to being Eisha. May be it was important for her to be alive for Harshita. Yes Harshita was her only daughter that Eisha had conceived due to a careless customer.
Harshita was the only reason why Eisha had not ended her life yet. She had promised to herself that Harshita would not lead the same life like hers. She wanted Harshita to study and become something in her life.
After many physical tortures, she had been able to sign a contract with her owners that in exchange of Harshita ‘s life, Eisha had to work double shifts. She had agreed happily. After all, she was so used to handling so much pain that any amount of torture seemed a cake walk for her.
Harshita got admitted to a boarding school and as a intelligent girl did very well in her studies. She was very much aware of the sacrifices that her mother was undertaking for her future. She had promised her self that, one day she would free her mother. She did not how!
She toiled hard in her studies and Eisha toiled hard in pleasing every customer. Eisha had almost become like a stone with no feelings left. The only feeling that she understood was her affection towards Harshita. She saw herself in her child.
Harshita started appearing for all the competitive exams after her graduation. She successfully cracked the UPSC exam and got selected as an IPS. The uniform, the badges on the collar and the national emblem on the cap that she wore were gender neutral and gave Harshita, wings that she had never imagined. She was now recognised and acknowledged.
Soon after completing her training, Harshita came down to Kamathi Pura to take her mother with her who was her everything!
That day was a different scene in the red light area. There was a new zeal among the ladies of the area. Flowers and garlands were offered to the mother daughter duo. When Eisha saw her daughter, all she did was kneel down and cry.
The moment both of them walked the by lanes of the infamous area, every woman going through the ordeal felt proud and empowered. They saw a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
All this because a daughter had touched the limits that was always forbidden to these ladies . Harshita, eventually took up many developmental tasks in her capacity and engaged many NGOs to work for the healthy conditions of the residents of the Red light area and to make them self sufficient.
Eisha went back to being Eishwari for ever.
Empowerment of an individual can lead to empowerment of a community. Women specifically in distress need to empower themselves and others,without giving up.