Kolkata; The Forward Pass by Balarka Brahma

The group, long active in advocating for the rights of brothel workers in Kolkata, felt the need to do something for the children of the sex workers as well as their mothers.

In 2003, a group called the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee started a residential home for kids from various brothel colonies at Baruipur, a small town near Kolkata.

The group, long active in advocating for the rights of brothel workers in Kolkata, felt the need to do something for the children of the sex workers as well as their mothers. Most of these children do not get any education at all, and many are driven into the sex trade or are trapped in drug rackets.

Balarka Brahma

Balarka Brahma
Buddhadeb Das(18) is brushing his teeth. He is actually hails from Shantipur, a small town which is about 60 miles away from Kolkata. He has been staying at the academy from beginning.

Durbar stepped in to keep these kids motivated for the future by separating them from their mothers other than just for education and accommodations. They identified football as a means to integrate these children into mainstream society. First was to provide coaching by recruiting professional football coach and support staffs. The effort started small, but it has since expanded; field workers move from brothel to brothel, looking for promising footballers they can bring to the academy.

Balarka Brahma
Buddhadeb is busy preparing for his upcoming higher secondary examination before the daily practice session.

The results have been promising. The team has become champion of the Indian Football Association’s nursery league and will field a team in the senior division. And the training is paying off. Last year two boys from the academy were selected by the U.K.’s Manchester United to practice with its junior team in Manchester. [Official website]

documentary 4 documentary 5 Balarka Brahma documentary 7 Balarka Brahma Balarka Brahma 10 11 Balarka Brahma 13 14 15

Sonagachi is the one of the largest brothels colony in Asia and it houses more than 20,000 sex workers. Sonagachi is situated at the northern fringe of Kolkata, West Bengal.
Sonagachi is the one of the largest brothels colony in Asia and it houses more than 20,000 sex workers. Sonagachi is situated at the northern fringe of Kolkata, West Bengal.

Rekha Roy, the mother of rajib, is embracing her son with sheer joy and proudness at their sonagachi residence in Kolkata. Rekha is a former sex worker and currently doing job at a bag factory near sonagachi. She earns about $50 per month and manages everything from house rent to her son’s sports and educational cost.
Rekha Roy, the mother of rajib, is embracing her son with sheer joy and proudness at their sonagachi residence in Kolkata. Rekha is a former sex worker and currently doing job at a bag factory near sonagachi. She earns about $50 per month and manages everything from house rent to her son’s sports and educational cost.

Rajib Roy (17) at his sonagachi residence in Kolkata where he lives with his mother and younger brother. Rajib is a promising footballer and he is a product of Durbar Sports Academy. He got selected by Manchester United Football Club to get trained at Manchester facility last year. Now he is playing for East Bengal junior team.
Rajib Roy (17) at his sonagachi residence in Kolkata where he lives with his mother and younger brother. Rajib is a promising footballer and he is a product of Durbar Sports Academy. He got selected by Manchester United Football Club to get trained at Manchester facility last year. Now he is playing for East Bengal junior team.

A football jersey is being dried up after the practice at the lawn.
A football jersey is being dried up after the practice at the lawn.

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