Gitanjali Babbar: Transforming Delhi’s Brothels

…On one hand, in our family, you talk about girls as prizes, how important for the girl to be inside the house, not to talk to strangers. Be cautious. And on the other hand, these 4,000 women, every day, they just wanted strangers to come and touch them whatever way they want. This whole dilemma, the conversation I had in my mind, almost got me… I remember I couldn’t even speak for 3 to 4 nights, just thinking where I stood in this world. Then I got a chance to visit these women more and more, and the women accepted me as somebody there to share these stories. I realized there was some connection between those women and me. One evening, this woman asked some important questions about myself, to which I couldn’t answer. But that was the time when I realized that if you see the other person as your friend, and you ask any question to her, then she can also ask any question. That was the moment when I realized that «am I a friend or just a survey worker, asking question and getting information from them.» They reacted toward me whatever I was doing. It was just a job. That was the day when I reflected that I was just doing my job, and I was playing with the word friend. That’s when I said, now we are going to be friends, no matter if I remain this job or not. Then I quit this job. I visited the brothels more often. It’s my home. I don’t know. You don’t need inspiration to work there. It’s my home. Those 4,000 women were not living the lives they want to. Just being there, I do whatever I can. Just be there with them.

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