23 November, 2020

The Gates Of Hades Flung Open

Giving children of sex workers a new life requires guts. Here is someone willing to fight for it.

The Gates Of Hades Flung Open
Ajeet Singh can still recall vividly—as a young student at Delhi’s Hansraj College, he was besieged by an urge to do something meaningful. On one occasion, he was at a cousin’s wedding. A dancer hired to perform there was at her vulgar best. The crowd jeered to egg her on. Perturbed by the experience, he later learnt that she had a daughter. Sleep was far away that night. Singh lay thinking about the fate of the little girl. The next morning, he promptly marched up to her house and tried to persuade her to let him adopt the child. "I wanted to keep the child far away from the world she was born in."

Singh ran up against a mixture of incredulity and hostility. Being born to a commercial sex worker (CSW) has its stigma—you’re an outcast. The girl child, it is presumed, will follow her mother’s footsteps and the male will become a petty criminal/pimp. Why was Singh, the son of a respectable family, dabbling in their affairs?

The dancer was even advised by her clients not to give away her child. Singh’s parents too thought their son was mad. His relatives...



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