In March of this year my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Kolkata, India for ten days . India has been on the mind and the heart of Whitby from the very beginning, and this trip solidified the need and opportunity waiting there.
Kolkata is known as the "City of Joy," but it is also named after the goddess of death, Koli. The juxtaposition is prevalent and powerful and visible.
Sonagachi, the largest red-light district in Kolkata, attracts an estimated 22,000 men each night. Generational prostitution is rampant here, and girls can be seen playing in the street during the day, mostly unaware of the fate that awaits them without our help. It is heartbreaking beyond words.
On the last day of the trip I had the opportunity to tour a leather mill. A family-run and operated business that has been in the family for three generations, the manufacturer employees more than 80 men. The owner's wife and daughter took me on the tour, as per religious and cultural standards.
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