For the ordinary citizen in Delhi, GB Road means a number of things. For us at Kat-Katha, it is our home. We dedicated this Independence day, 15th August, 2014 to the Independence of our didis and children who are marginalised by society and do not have the pleasure of living a normal life like all of us and celebrate fearlessly. It was to be their day under the sky to help put behind them years of neglect and disdain by capturing the “Road less Travelled” as their own.
Dreaming is the Elixir of Life and we at Kat-katha are nothing but a bunch of dreamers who wish to make the Impossible, Possible. Kat-Kalrav (Pyar ka Mohalla) was one such dream, which became a reality, thanks to the endless contributions and prayers of all. A day of celebration with our didis and children right in the middle of the road that they have lived in for years without fear of recrimination and as free spirits.
The preparations began with all volunteers and children pitching in to transform the landscape of GB Road by cleaning up the street and walls that had a dreary and withered look to one of brightness and cheer. The walls were given a fresh layer of paint and then transformed into expressions of love and gratitude through graffiti painted by selfless volunteers. The freshness and expressions that reflected from the walls, made our children and didis feel empowered with hope and questioned the people living there of their long-strung beliefs, beliefs which are medieval and prejudiced. This is just the beginning and with our dream, we hope to transform the ethos of the area completely.
Our brave didis got out of their dingy homes and joined us in the celebrations. Some did stare out of their windows and gave us their thumbs up with the hope that they would join us the next time. They came in their finery to the centre stage, watched with awe the show put up by volunteers, joined in the dance, clapped, cracked jokes, and looked gorgeous with their smiles reaching their eyes. The love that flowed within the space, the first of its kind, bang in the middle of GB Road was unimaginable. Love replaced hate and it was a sea of happiness and comfort that flowed right through the evening. Kat-Katha’s endeavour to “stringing life to unmoving puppets” seemed to have created magic on this wonderful day of India’s Independence and that of our didis and their children
This beautiful video captures the magical spirit of Kat Kalrav (Pyar ka Mohalla)
All this was possible because of the pure love and spirit of all the volunteers, groups that performed and many more, not present on that day physically but emotionally attached to the spirit. We celebrated the livelihood of the didis and their children. We celebrated their birthday and their bravery. Your omnipresent affection and support enabled a free-flowing and enjoyable evening, which strengthened the trust of the didis and their children about the Kat-katha family.
No event can be successful without maximum participation – so beautifully managed by the mobilisation efforts of volunteers and performing groups. Our children were their beautiful, happy selves on stage and they brought the house down with their dance, music and drama.
A special word of gratitude to Khana Badosh, Immortals, Manzil Mystics, Pahal, Vidya and Child, Rajkumar (our Dance Teacher), Hardik, Delhi Police, MCD, Renu’s husband and many more behind the scenes who gave it their best to make this an evening of fun, love, joy, camaraderie and inspiration for our didis and children to dream bigger.
Kaट–कatha’s vision is to “Present a series of “life choices” to women and children living in brothels and instill “confidence” in them to design and act towards a life of choice.