KOLKATTA: Seema Folka is excited, nervous and proud that she will be rubbing shoulders with the state's who's who on Friday. The 43-year-old will be attending Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee's swearing-in ceremony.
Folka is a sex worker who will be in the invitee's gallery when Banerjee and her ministers take the oath.
"We are thankful to Didi for showing a humane gesture by including sex workers in her invitee list. This quality in her will keep her connected with people from every section of the society," said Folka.
Driven to the profession by abject poverty, Folka entered the professiion at a young age. Her father used to work as a daily wage earner to feed five mouths till he became bed ridden due to gastric ulcer. Her mother's meager income as domestic help was too insufficient for the family. Most of the time Seema and his two siblings would go without food for days. And when Seema's marriage was arranged, the groom's family broke the engagement as Seema's father could not meet the dowry demand. That was when Seema left her Murshidabad dwelling for Sonagachi, the biggest red light area in Kolkata to salvage the family out of poverty.
"I will be wearing a green colour tant saree for the ceremony. I am a little nervous because I have never been a part of such a formal function. But I am sure I will remain composed and witness the historic event like any of those in the guest gallery," said Folka.
Durbar Mahila Samawaya Committee (DMSC), an advocacy organisation of the sex workers is elated about the prospect of their representative being present at such an important event.
"It is great on part of Mamata Banerjee to have remembered us on such an important day. This infact is the first time a sex worker has been invited to be a part of an event like this. We hope her government will continue to support our cause in future," said DMSC secretary Bharati Dey.