Saturday, 24 August 2013

'Born into Brothels' by Zana Briski

"Born into Brothels" is an award-winning documentary film made by US-based photographer and filmmaker Zana Briski. It is shot in Sonagachi, the biggest brothel in Asia and features the children born to the prostitutes there.

Zana stayed in Sonagachi and interacted with the children in the area. She intended to see Sonagachi through the eyes of those children. What she did was simply to give a camera to each one of the children and asked them to take pictures of whatever they found interesting. The pictures show the daily life of a typical red-light district through those innocent eyes.

She fought for the betterment of those children by trying to accommodate them in some boarding schools, where they can keep themselves away from the "contaminated and sinful" life of Sonagachi. Most schools were not willing to admit children of prostitutes. Most girls become "part of the line" once they come of age. There is no easy way of rescuing them, unless proper care, education and guidance are given to these children and their parents.

These children do not have any dreams, because they cannot afford any. As educated citizens, what can we do to save such people, so that they can also dream and live just like the rest of us? Shouldn't the world be fair to them? Should a basic requirement like education be denied to them? I, and I hope no one, would ever blame the innocent kids for their hardships, because they are neither on the wrong side of the law nor they are second-grade citizens. Those children deserve something better. I wonder who failed here.

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