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#GoodNews: Durga Puja Street Art Supports Sex Workers’ Rights 

The graffiti tells the tale of hardships and the circumstances that force a woman to get into the flesh trade.  

Published
India
2 min read
#GoodNews: Durga Puja Street Art Supports Sex Workers’ Rights 
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A street graffiti dedicated to the life and struggle of the sex workers was unveiled by a Durga Puja organiser in north Kolkata on Monday, 8 October.

The graffiti, painted on a 300 feet long stretch of road in Ahiritola area, tells the tale of hardships and the circumstances that force a woman to get into the flesh trade.

“Our aim is to spread awareness among people to highlight the life and struggle of a sex worker,” Uttam Saha, working president of the Ahritolata Jubakbrinda Durga puja committee.

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It has been designed on the lives of inmates of the brothel at Sonagachhi, stated to be Asia’s largest red light area, which is around 1 km away from Ahiritola.

Interestingly, soil from a brothel is an essential ingredient for the making of a Durga idol.

“Both lively and gloomy colours were used in the graffiti, illustrating various shades of the life of a sex worker,” said artist Soumen Sarkar, who took part in the project.

Speaking to PTI, one of the artists, Manas Rao said:

A woman becomes a sex worker either due to trafficking, or for the sake of running her family. She is also a mother, who despite all odds, takes care of her children and family. There can’t be disparity when we celebrate womanhood in the form of goddess Durga.

From a door with three women peeping from inside, to a distorted ‘kumkum’ line on a woman’s forehead signifying her tragedy, the graffiti depicted the touching story of this community, Sarkar said.

“We are really happy that such a theme has been taken up by the puja committee depicting our lives and struggles,” he said.

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