For every bad thing that happens in one part of the world, there is a beautiful thing happening somewhere else.
Shweta Katti was born in Mumbai’s Kamathipura red light district. Today, the 19 year old is one of only 6 recipients to receive the United Nations Youth Courage Awards for 2014.
Growing up in a poor family, in the lofts of a brothel, she often snuck into the rooms to watch Bollywood movies. Her story is nothing short of a movie script.
As a child, she saw hard days especially with a violent step father. Growing up in a brothel can hardly be good for any child, but she recounts how the sex workers were always protective of her, and how she celebrated all the festivals with them. It hurt when she walked on the roads, and got jeered and called names like “black dung” because of her skin colour. She says it’s probably why she became a more reserved person and suffered from low self esteem.
Then she began studying in an NGO, Kranti, and last year got global attention when she gained a full scholarship in Bard’s College in USA.
In March, she delivered a TEDX talk to a massive crowd in India on empowerment issues, and later Newsweek declared her as one of their “25 Under-25 Young Women to Watch” a list that also included Malala Yousufzai. This, for her heroic efforts to break the social stigma associated with Dalits, a sub-caste considered “untouchable” in India, and to not only pursue an education abroad, but also become a representative of a repressed community.
In Sep 2014, Shweta went up on stage to receive the prestigious UN Youth Courage Awards from former UK PM Gordon Brown, to a standing ovation and resounding applause from the crowd.
Shweta, all of 19, is still studying at Bard’s College. Her closest friends are two girls from Bangladesh and Tibet. Not only does she make the two of them watch Bollywood movies, but has herself joined Bard’s College Bollywood Dance Club.
We are proud of you, Shweta. Stay happy.
Source & Credits : Facebook