AN ORDEAL WITH PROSTITUTES
Last time when I went to talk to them, they shooed me away by throwing slippers and hurling stones at me. This time when I went the tomatoes were ripe, those prostitutes were sitting at the market place selling tomatoes and exchanging tomatoes with each other. I saw them and gave a smile and requested them,” that I really want to help you all”. They all started laughing and replied,’ we don’t need any, but you can buy our tomatoes. I said,” neither do I eat tomatoes neither do I use them in cooking”.
Those prostitutes were surprised to hear that and mocked me saying,” what kind of woman are you who doesn’t eat tomatoes, strange”. I continued,” have you heard of AIDS , It’s an incurable life threatening disease. To prevent it, the Indian government is spending a lot of money to prevent it from spreading.” Hearing this one of them said,” so you are an government agent, from which political party you are and how much money do you get doing all this.” There is not even a single hospital nearby and you are talking of life threatening diseases .in bad times , Goddess Durga will help us during our bad times.
I stared at them and didn’t knew what to say and started thinking, what to do next and that moment one of the prostitutes said, she seems to be a journalist. See there is a pen and paper in her hand, she will write about us and the inhuman conditions we are living in and earn money through it. Let’s teach her a lesson. “ hearing this, all the prostitutes, started throwing tomatoes at me. This time I couldn’t control my emotions and went away crying.
Once I reached home, I thought why should I work on this project ?. this women whom I want to help me, insult me. there is no place in the world where the one who helps is being insulted. I am not fit to do social work, I should written back to my academic field. The foundation will give this responsibility to someone else. I started typing my resignation letter. My father saw me typing something and asked me what am I writing? I narrated him the whole experience. I thought he will pamper me, but he scolded me that how could be I such a fool and how could I do something foolish like this. I stared at him with anger. He took out an icecream from the fridge and asked me to eat it and said, make sure that you finish it before you get up from your place. He looked at me and smiled, he said,” this will make your mind cool and stable.
After a while, he said,” prostitution has existed in our society for centuries and it has become a part of our society. It has become a part of our lives. Many kings and saints tried to eradicate it but couldn’t, laws were made, punishment was given but nothing happened. There is ain’t any country where prostitution doesn’t exist. Then how could you think that you could single handedly eradicate it. Admit it, that you are an ordinary woman, make small goals first, for eg. In the beginning convince 10 prostitutes to leave prostitution. Tell them, what a normal life is and how does it feel like living a normal decent life. When you do this, they won’t allow their children to get into this mess. Make this your aim and when you accomplish it, I will be proud of you because my daughter changed the lives of 10 such women who were living a disgraceful life. This will be the biggest change in the lives of those women.
I explained him my dilemma, that how is it possible ? they throw slippers and tomatoes at me. My father started laughing and said,” just think that you got a promotion, now they don’t throw slippers, this timethey throwed a much softer thing on you and that is tomatoes. Hearing this, I too started laughing with him. I said,’ but dad they don’t even talk to me, how will I help them ?. My dad took me before the mirror and said,” see yourself, your dress jeans and t-shirt, it looks so casual. It seems ok for you but for an Indian woman and that too a prostitute will not be able to emoltionally connect with you. Wear a saree, a mangalsutra, a bindi and then give a try. They will surely talk to you. This time I will come with you and in this journey, this old man can surely be of some help to you.
To change those ill fortunate woman, you must change yourself girl, change your perception, change your approach . hearing this I said in a harsh tone,” I am not going to change whatever the situation may be”. My dad left me before the mirror and went away smiling. After thinking for some days, I started learning social working skills. Till now I had understood, there is no glamour or money involved in it. Neither did I have the luxury to behave like a corporate executive. The language had to be proper and decent.