While we worship Goddess Durga and her various forms during Durga Puja and Navratri, we are often not so sensitive towards the constant struggles that women have to put up in real life. But a few artists in North Kolkata have come together to depict the hard life of sex workers of Sonagachi, Asia’s largest red light area, through street art, sculpture and art installations.
Apart from a 300 feet long graffiti painted on the road of Ahiritola, there is wall art and sculptures that tell you the situations and circumstances that pushed these women into flesh trade.
One of the installations speaks about the pain a woman goes through, when forced to have sex with a man she is sold to, and her ordeal when she becomes a sex worker. Another art work is a plea on behalf of all such women who are victims of human trafficking.
Today, women who offer their body to earn a living, are called ‘sex workers’, but let’s not forget that at some point in the past, they too were somebody’s daughter, sister, wife or mother. Some of the figures made by the artists are shown wearing smudged sindoor on their forehead. This signifies that although many men marry these women, no one accepts them openly.
The artists want people to understand that no woman should be disrespected, even if her profession is.