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Children From Red Light Areas Find Home In Residential School

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Far away from the murky world of brothels, children of sex workers have found shelter in a free residential school on the outskirts of Kolkata where they are trying to carve out a new identity.At the campus of Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission in Barrackpore, a few kms away from the city, a batch of 22 children from red light areas are getting free boarding, food and education.
To ensure their minds are free from the stigma attached to the lives of their mothers, they are kept with other children staying in the campus."We have destitute children as well as those from good families staying together at a single place. We do not treat them separately at any point of time. They are mingling well with others and this is our success that we can ensure a stigma-free life for children from all kinds of backgrounds," Mission secretary Subhankar Maharaj told PTI.
Anti-trafficking NGO "Apne Aap Women Worldwide" rescued these children who used to stay along with their mothers in the brothels of Sonagachi and Khidirpur and brought them to the school of the charitable trust."We are bringing them here since the last few years as the girls are very prone to get trafficked while the boys can grow up to become pimps or part of the sex trafficking racket if they stay there," NGO worker Shahana Dasgupta said.Reluctant initially to stay away from their mothers, the children, aged between 6 and 16, are now a happy lot."I used to not to attend school there as I also had to take care of household chores, but now I have nothing else to do besides studying and playing with friends," a ten-year-old girl said.Another 14-year-old boy now aspires to become an army officer and bring her mother out of the sex trade.Subhankar Maharaj said once they completed their school education they would be imparted skill training in various fields so that they could stand on their own feet.

 

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