Ode To Women Of Bengal!
Report: Ruchi Mukherjee
During a recent visit to Calcutta, India (actually Kolkata but I am more used to calling it Calcutta), I was absolutely taken aback by the wonderful work by All Bengal Women’s Union, a center for dignity and empowerment. My trip happened due to my father’s sudden demise but hearing the courageous stories at All Bengal I was not only inspired but rejuvenated and truly believed, as Bengalis rightly say, ‘Keep fighting and never give up on life’.
It all started in the year 1932, when a group of courageous women in Bengal took up to helping their helpless, exploited, and victimized fellow sisters. In between the two World Wars, the number of sailors and soldiers had considerably increased and the flesh trade found a ready and expanding market in Kolkata.
The Calcutta Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act and the Children Act was passed in 1923, in order to enable the police to rescue women and children from the brothels. A new bill entitled the The Bengal Suppression of Immoral Traffic Bill was placed before the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1932 by Mr. J. N. Basu, an eminent lawyer and social worker. The Bengal Presidency Council of Women and the All Bengal Women’s Conference then decided to form an independent organization for the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Bengal.
It was breathtaking to see how amidst all the chaos these social workers keep smiling and dedicate their time and effort to educate and brighten the lives of those in need.