Mumbai: Brought up in the red light area in Kukhayata, Dheta Katti is all set to fly to New York to pursue her studies, setting an example for many girls such as herself.

Faced by many road blocks at every turn of life, the 18 year old, who did her schooling from Kamathipura Municipal School, effortlessly turned these into stepping stones towards success. Dheta has landed a scholarship worth USD 50,000 which roughly amounts to Rs 28 Lakh. She will pursue her undergrad in Psychology, which starts this August, from the reputed Brad College.

Dheti has also been featured in Newsweek for her phenomenal efforts towards the uplift of underprivileged or economically deprived women. Her own life struggles serve as a motivational push to help these women, she said.

Dheti’s life has been no cake walk. It has been a perpetual struggle story which started with her mother stepping into Mumbai. Her mother, though not a sex worker, was forced to live in the red light area. As her mother would leave home early for work, Dheti would be dressed and sent to school by the sex workers.  

As she runs down her dark and shady memory lane, Dheti remembers how her so called father would sexually harass her in her mother’s absence. Like many children, or adults so to say, she kept mum not fully understanding what was happening. However, with time she started hiding from the prying eyes of her father.

Talking about her academic struggle, she recalls having to rush back home before night fall, as the streets would flock with sex workers and their prospective customers. As the environment at home was not conducive to allow her to grow academically, she herself started going to a shelter meant to help the children of sex workers.

“I wanted to get out of this place and make a mark on this world”, said the ambitious girl. Now she is all set to pack her bags and head to New York.