Mystery donor brings New Year's cheer to girl from red-light area

A 20-year-old from Mumbai’s red-light district is now a step closer to her dream of sailing around the world, after a Bollywood celebrity read about her in mid-day and promised to pay for her flight ticket to the US

Normally, when celebrities take part in any philanthropic activity, their publicists flood the media with innumerable pictures and press statements.

Also read: Two girls from red-light area in Mumbai to sail around the world

 Kavita Hosmani and her half-sister, Shweta Katti, are the only Indians to be selected for the current batch of the Semester at Sea programme, which will take them to 15 cities across 12 countries in 112 days. File pic

However, after reading mid-day’s article about a sex worker’s daughter who was raising funds to go to the US for a course, one Bollywood actor decided to bring her some New Year’s cheer, and offered to buy her air ticket to San Diego on the condition that his identity not be revealed.

This takes the 20-year-old Kavita Hosmani a step closer to her dream of sailing around the world and attending the prestigious study-abroad programme, Semester at Sea. This paper had reported that Kavita and her half-sister, Shweta Katti, were the only Indians to be accepted for the programme, but a lack of finances had put Kavita’s dream in jeopardy (Air ticket stands between girl from Kamathipura and her dreams’, mid-day, December 30).

But after the report, several Mumbaikars opened their hearts and their pockets to help the Kamathipura-resident. While she is still short of the total amount that needs to be raised, the outpouring of support has encouraged Kavita immensely.

She is currently being helped by Kranti, an NGO that works to uplift the children of sex workers in the city’s red-light area. “We couldn't afford the air ticket, but this Bollywood celebrity came forward to help us. We have now blocked Kavita’s ticket and will receive the money on January 2 from the donor, whose name I can’t disclose,” said Robin Chaurasia, from Kranti, adding that the benefactor was an actor from an illustrious family which also produced movies.

Kavita’s ticket to San Diego costs Rs 1.1 lakh, and the NGO had blocked the seat to keep the price from rising any higher. Apart from the cost of the flight, the NGO hopes to raise enough to cover other costs that are not under Kavita’s partial scholarship.

With help from others, Kavita has so far managed to raise Rs 3.63 lakh, and hopes to reach her goal of R5 lakh soon. “People who have donated small and big amounts and some even told us that they wanted to donate laptops and other such products. We need to collect the funds as soon as possible, because Kavita has to fly out by January 5,” said Chaurasia.

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