Finally, Kolkata sex workers get their own Durga puja
Durga puja this year will be a monumental event for the sex workers in Kolkata's Sonagachi - said to be the largest red light area in Asia.
Elated at being able to organise the puja for the first time, the organisers have lined up a host of events during the next five days.
A Calcutta High Court directive of September allowed the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Samiti(DMSS) - a sex workers' collective - to hold its own Durga puja within Sonagachi.
Some 3000 sex workers have pitched in to put up a small pandal with a six feet high goddess Durga clay idol brought from Kumartuli - the traditional potters' quarters here.
"We are extremely happy that we got the permission...our budget was around Rs.2 lakh and we have arranged functions across the five days," DMSS secretary Bharati Dey told IANS while inaugurating the pandal Wednesday.
The five-day festival, that begins Oct 10 with Sashthi and the subsequent four days - Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami - translates into frenzied pandal-hopping in new clothes, meeting friends and family.
The organisation has scheduled cultural programmes on Sashthi and Saptami. On Ashtami, the workers will feed several hundred old people.
(Posted on 09-10-2013)