Meet Fatima Khaitoon: A 28-year-old who has grown from a child married to a brothel owner to a woman who fights for those forced into the sex trade

DNA

It’s been a life-affirming journey lasting 19 years, in which Fatima Khatoon has grown from a child married to a brothel owner to a woman who fights for those forced into the sex trade.

Like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, Fatima says she’s finally come into her own.

But life has been no cocoon for the 28-year-old. Fatima got married at the age of nine to a man who was almost thrice her age, and ran a brothel with his mother in the Khawaspur red-light area in Araria, Bihar. The child-bride didn’t know what to make of the decorated ladies staying in the house but sensed that something was amiss. “One usually dressed up to go out to the market or mela. I found it unusual, seeing them sit at home in their gaudy clothes,” said Fatima, who has started the first women’s group inside the red-light area, remembered. Continue Reading.