Stylising Kalighat’s Enlightened Beauty

By Joydeep Das Gupta

Though we worship woman in different forms, but we forget to respect the living women around us everyday. This is the irony and when the five women from the red light areas of Kalighat took the courage to take forward their beauty for a cause and thereby earn freedom from abuse, there too was criticism. But the support of the NGO New Light and Brand Coloroso made it possible for this five determined women to get their wings to fly.

Wearing the Benarasi sarees designed by Joydeep Roy and woven by weavers from Varanasi, Seema, 26, Rupa, 24, Kajal, 26, Shiuli, 28, and Pratima, 28, posed for the photo-shoot for the initiative Lavanyashakti, which aims at marriage of beauty and courage. The styling of the girls were taken care of by Pinky Kenworthy.

Speaking to News Sense, Joydeep Roy said “We often heard of people doing something for this girls in the red light area, but we seldom do or try to do. This time we planned such a programe so that it can rehabilitate them for lifetime, to bring them back to mainstream life from the horrors of abuse and torture. This is how the initiative Lavanyashakti took shape. We have selected 50 Sarees and the proceed from the part of sales from the Sarees will go to this woman.”

The idea of Lavanyashakti came about when Urmi Basu, the founder of New Light, met Joydeep Roy and the talk turned to how his saris could benefit the women. The compensation the women get from the project will take them a step closer to their dream. New Light will give them an empowerment fund that can help start a small business. They will also monitor that the funds are utilized properly or not and also give time-to-time financial advice. Coloroso will do its bit by borrowing the girls’ names for labels, with 10 saris under each. The sales proceeds will help women like them.