Geetanjali Babbar (Social Activist), Delhi

Geetanjali Babbar

A graduate in journalism and a post-graduate in development communications, Geetanjali Babbar declined various high-paying job offers to set up a centre for improving the lives of the sex workers of GB Road, the red light area of Delhi. As a student, Geetanjali was involved with National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) where she got an opportunity to work with eunuchs. It was during this stint that Geetanjali first visited GB Road and interacted with the sex workers there. To her horror, she discovered the grim reality of these sex workers serving 20-40 customers in a day. They needed a support system to talk to about their personal issues apart from the regular safe sex information. Geetanjali did just that. She set up Kat-Katha- an initiative that aims to provide a better life for sex workers and opportunities to find alternative livelihoods.What makes Kat-Katha unique is the way they operate. Community participation is very much at the core of this initiative instead of the conventional raid, rescue and rehabilitation route.

Geetanjali encourages GB Road sex workers to join mainstream life by teaching them arts like stitching, embroidery, painting and encouraging them to explore alternate life choices, both within and without the world of brothels. Today through her initiative, Geentajali works for 3500 to 4000 sex workers and continues to be an agent of change in our society. Main Page:Kat- katha has successfully managed to recruit 10 voluntary teachers from reputed colleges for their training programmes. They now operate in 10 brothels, have trained 3 women successfully as tailors, and 25 sex workers and 20 children are undergoing their educational programmes. Kat-katha received a physical infrastructure from Delhi police that is currently under renovation for use as a training and educational centre.Quote:“It pains me to see women, with fine spirits and pure hearts, isolated from mainstream society facing tremendous challenges. But when I see them overcoming challenges through our initiative, it makes me so proud of being a woman.”