Tuesday, Aug 09, 2022
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When the towers come, remember us - Zeenath, eunuch sex worker, Gully No. 1, Kamathipura

I met Zeenath in 2012 for a story on adoptions by eunuch sex workers. For years, I have seen Kamathipura’s red light area fade away as builders move into this prime real estate in the heart of Mumbai. Ramabai Chawl where Zeenath stayed with eight eunuchs is the only one that remind and will be demolished soon. With Gangubai’s release, we look at Kamathipura and tell the story of its sex workers and explore the question of redevelopment and exclusion and livelihood and stigma. “On many nights, I have come here looking for that light in the window of the corner house in Gulli No. 1 in Kamathipura. That’s the only window that matters. The rest are all gone. It was Zeenath who introduced me to this world. And this world has many stories that must be told.”

I met Zeenath in 2012 for a story on adoptions by eunuch sex workers. For years, I have seen Kamathipura’s red light area fade away as builders move into this prime real estate in the heart of Mumbai. Ramabai Chawl where Zeenath stayed with eight eunuchs is the only one that remind and will be demolished soon. With Gangubai’s release, we look at Kamathipura and tell the story of its sex workers and explore the question of redevelopment and exclusion and livelihood and stigma. “On many nights, I have come here looking for that light in the window of the corner house in Gulli No. 1 in Kamathipura. That’s the only window that matters. The rest are all gone. It was Zeenath who introduced me to this world. And this world has many stories that must be told.”

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