Why we are kat-katha

Slowly and systematically, assessing the actual needs of women at G B Road, Kat-Katha began its transformation process with a four pronged approach called RISE (Rights, Integration, Skills and Education).

Building in-roads in a hostile field was the first challenge faced by the Kat-Katha team. Slowly as the doors of the brothels opened for Kat-Katha, new avenues for improvement and development came up too. Under its RISE projects, Kat-Katha slowly bringst the sex workers (lovingly called Didis) and their children into the mainstream of life. The first step being developing safe spaces for women and children where they could freely come with a feeling of trust and belonging. These spaces are today transformed into mini classrooms for the children of the women workers. Slowly with several intensive counselling and awareness sessions the children are today using Kat-Katha’s spaces to learn, explore and come alive with a sense of connection, expression, and possibility. Signs of first success.

Under its ‘Rights’ initiative, Kat-Katha also addresses the basic needs of the women workers by helping them create their Voter-Id cards- the first sign of amalgamation into mainstream life. Free legal Support and Police advocacy are also extended to all the needy workers. Sill Development is another important focus area for Kat-Katha.
As a first step, women workers are exposed to intensive counselling sessions to open them towards the idea of building additional skills as life source. Women are professionally taught how to cook, stitch, manage accounts, make art and craft objects and so on. The Batua Project, Notebook making project and Rubaroo art and craft project are few of the main projects undergoing under the skill development initiative of Kat-Katha.

As part of the educational intervention, children of the women working at G B road are taught professional dance, photography, painting and provided basic academic learning support too. Kat-Katha also organizes several health camps, festivals celebrations, participation in large public forums, several unique curated events on a regular basis at G B road. Kat-Kalrav and Kat-Yatra are some of its unique properties.

Kat-Katha gives the inhabitants of G B Road a platform of their own –
a place where they can learn, unlearn and strive to integrate themselves in the mainstream life around them.

why g.b road

G.B. Road (Garston Bastion Road, now renamed as Shradhanand Marg) is home to the biggest centralized but illegal prostitution establishment in the Indian capital city. The establishment holds more than 3000 people that includes sex workers, children and pimps (handlers). The area has 77 brothels, each of which traps approximately 40 to 60 women.

Most of these women come from far-flung places who are majorly trafficked, kidnapped, or even sold helpless. They are not recognised by the government of India, do not have voter ID cards, and are not considered a part of the census. Their education is either very basic or non-existent. Their awareness of the world outside is zilch. The possibility of a life outside prostitution comes very late in their life and usually by then they are trapped within their minds beyond respite. Thus, just like in any other trap zone of prostitution, for many of them, the only way out is to become perpetrators themselves, like pimps and brothel managers. For most of the other women, they fade into faceless and painful oblivion.

The children of prostitutes living in G.B. Road (just like their counterparts elsewhere) are equally doomed. Around 40 percent of the women live with their children in the brothels. 60 percent of these children are not enrolled in schools due to the fear of social stigma. They grow up under the threat of sexual abuse and often are trapped into the same profession. They fear stepping out of G.B. Road and have low self esteem and confidence.

G.B. Road has a MCD school in its locality but it has been non-functional for some years now.

G.B. Road is the biggest centralized but illegal prostitution establishment in the Indian capital city. This establishment has survived almost two centuries.

3000 +

people including sex workers, children and pimps (handlers)


brothels, each of which traps approximately 20-40 womens


are young women between the age group of (17-30 years)

Women are largely from

Andhra Pradesh
West Bengal

Trafficking and Prostitution

Prostitution is one of the oldest professions across the world. Within the Indian legal framework, prostitution has a status of ambiguity, however soliciting and trafficking is illegal. Hence, prostitution has been treated by law enforcers and civil society alike as illegal. Inspite of this status, there are three major and flourishing red light areas (Sonagachi in Kolkata, Kamathipura in Mumbai and G.B. Road in Delhi) in the country apart from the small prostitution establishments spread far and wide.

Today, India has 4 million sex workers and 35% are below 18 years of age. Approximately, 98% percent of them have been forced into sex work through trafficking.

The women and children living in the area have been neglected for a long time and they face many problems like

lack of basic facilities, civil rights, or education.