The Largest Red Light Areas in Asia: Sonagachi is Asia’s largest brothel and red light area set up by the British in Kolkata, India. It is an area with several hundred multi-story brothels with an estimated 11,000 sex workers who have been trapped in the cycle for generations. Kalighat in Kolkata is the second largest area of commercial prostitution and is home to sex workers from India, Nepal and Bangladesh. There are other areas in Kolkata where the trade is rampant.
Mafia control: The area and its activities are set up within a nexus of the mafia, making it a challenge to change the situation. The sensitive situation deterred the local groups from taking up the project, due to which OVBI stepped in.
Generations are trapped in the vicious cycle: The profession became an inevitable choice for little children and young girls. Not only were the latter forced into the flesh trade but children also had no other alternative than to be in the system with little or no amenities.
Giving them a safe residence: We build residential schools away from the brothels where rescued child sex workers and at-risk children, receive free food, shelter, clothing, medical help, education, vocational training and most importantly, hope. We have already raised approximately $1 Million and built a hostel for rehabilitation. By setting up a “Safe Home” we hope to set an example to encourage other NGOs to take up this cause and help us reach the remaining 1.2 million children in this situation, across India.
Creating social leadership: The focus is to groom the affected groups to become leaders of social change by enabling social leadership among sex workers and youth.
Better amenities: To provide better health and hygiene practices to help with the outbreak of diseases in the area and to provide better educational facilities and counseling to children to reduce the number of school dropouts.
De-traumatizing the affected groups: Special programs have been conducted for the mothers and children through the Art of Living, to equip them mentally, physically and emotionally for sustainable behavior transformation.