29 Oct 2012
At this Saturday’s Navratri celebration for Udaan members, Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC) welcomed as chief guest Amole Gupte, a prominent Bollywood celebrity. The girls performed the Garba dance, a retelling of the epic battle between the bull-demon Mahishasura and the invincible goddess Durga to whom the Navratri festival is devoted. Afterwards, Gupte engaged them with a lively speech to stay focused on school and presented awards to the girls for various academic and creative achievements.
While Gupte is a prominent Bollywood actor, director, and screenwriter, he has been actively involved with AAWC for the past four years. Known affectionately to the Udaan girls as “Amole Mama” (“Uncle Amole”), Gupte frequently attends AAWC’s celebrations of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai dooj, both Hindu festivals honoring the bond between sisters and brothers. Most recently in June 2012, he presented a workshop on acting and film for 150 children, including Udaan members, at a film festival hosted by the Whistling Woods International Institute of Film, Fashion & Media.
About Apne Aap Women’s Collective
Founded in 1998, Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC) serves the women, girls, and toddlers of the Greater Kamathipura Area, one of the largest and oldest red light areas in Asia. By providing its members with the tools and resources to create a better life, AAWC seeks to empower women who have been trafficked into brothel-based prostitution and to prevent intergenerational trafficking of girls and young children who grow up in the brothels. Since its inception, AAWC has served more than 1,300 women, 600 girls and 350 toddlers. Learn more at www.aawc.in.