Kidderpore is a small red light district in Kolkata. It is a very poor area and the women who must work the trade here may only earn 300 rupees ($5) for a night with a client. Depending upon how desperate their situation on any given night they may have one we entered the bright spot in this area – Destiny. This is where strong, educated and caring professional women have devoted their lives to offering education and training as a way for women who work the trade to be able to escape this life.
Our purpose here for the rest of the week is to offer activities in the form of art, music and storytelling as a way to help the women, who are most of the time very private, open up about their lives.
As a way of helping us all identify with each other and be the same, we chose to dress alike and bring the same clothing for the women. They sat in their saris and kurtas as we told them about the t-shirts that we had brought for them in the “color of the day.” This produced smiles but when we told them we had brought them each a pair of matching pants (poofy pants, as we like to call them) they SQUEALED! They were so happy. The staff thought that perhaps they would be too shy to change into these outfits – so not the case today – something brought their walls down and they changed and modeled for us.
We explained that our Bible teaches us that God is a creative God and that we are made in His image. So if that is the case then He has given us all our own kind of creativity. We asked them to put aside their fears and just try expressing themselves through art. Our activities are always focused with a “talking point” or something that gives them the opportunity to open up and share about their lives. The two staff that were with us said they wanted to cry as they saw the women they work with on a regular basis share so openly.
We’re excited to return tomorrow.