How many times do we compare ourselves to someone else and question why we can’t have things easy? Why do we need to struggle to achieve things in life?
Well most of us do. But today, we bring to you a beautiful story of a girl who never blamed her circumstances or difficult life situations. She let her struggles make her stronger, courageous, and braver.
Born in Kalighat’s red-light area, 32-year-old, Tumpa Adhikari fought hard against her destiny to move out of the brothel and build a life of her dreams.
Like many children of sex workers, Adhikari could have blamed her circumstances and could have fallen prey to taking up her mother’s profession.
But this brave soul had a different plan – the dream to become the voice of the children of sex workers, and creating a path for the future generation to avoid the path of sexual exploitation.
To support the upliftment of kids born in a red light area, she now teaches the importance of schools and why they should not take up a sex worker’s profession.
She shared with TOI,
“Having faced abuse by my mother’s clients, I know how painful the experience is. That is not something I want other kids to suffer.
I want children from the red-light district to know their rights and to learn to say no,”
Her courageous and brave journey started when Adhikari, as a teenager, dragged her alcoholic father, who had spent the money saved for her school admission on his drinks, to the local police station for beating up her mother.
While remembering her tough journey, she said,
“I was always taunted in school for being a sex worker’s daughter. The humiliation and the financial crisis had forced me to drop out of school,”
But as they say, when you fight for your dream desperately, even the universe conspires to turn the dream into reality. That’s what happened with Adhikari.
By this time, social activists — Paromita Banerjee — had appeared like a savior to work with children from the redlight area. Adhikari mentioned,
“Aunty told us that we should not look for any messiah but be our own saviour. I took her words seriously,”
So, she started her own journey of becoming a savior in 2005.
Along with 16 others, she founded Disha, an NGO, with Banerjee’s help. They set-up a night shelter for children in the brothel. She also started organizing camps of young girls to create awareness against abuse.
Sharing how child abuse was rampant in the red-light area, Adhikari said:
“Forget about the kids, even their mothers used to think that sexual exploitation of children was normal. But today, most are aware of their rights and are seeking our help”
She has not only helped many in lodging complaints against the predators but has also rescued her mother from the profession as well.
While sharing it with The Quint, she mentioned:
“I am not ashamed of my roots any longer. I want to live within the system and change it.”
As Adhikari has been expanding her network and various fellowships and help have started coming her way, her belief is turning stronger every day. She shared:
“I want to see every girl in brothels going to school and having a respectable livelihood so that they do not take to the inhuman profession,”
The immense impact that Adhikari has on other’s life is easily reflected in what Saptami Pal, the daughter of another sex worker, had to share with TOI:
“Tumpa-didi is a role model for us. If it wasn’t for her resolution to fight back, the world would have been the same for children of sex workers even today. Many of us now see light at the end of the tunnel,”
While many of us focusing on how to accumulate more and more materialistic goods, there are very few like Adhikari who are focusing on the real purpose of life – Giving others a chance to have a better, happy and healthy life.
If you are one such soul or know someone who is, do share your story and we will publish it on the platform.