ibnlive » India

Hero gives away award cash to help sexworker

George Koshy,CNN-IBN
Mar 13, 2009 at 06:37pm IST

From a real hero to a greater hero. One of last week's recipients of the Reliance and CNN-IBN Real Heroes '09 award, Anson Thomas has handed over his entire prize money of Rs 5 lakh to a former sex worker he'd rescued in 1991.

The award was a recognition well deserved by the 37-year-old foot soldier from Mumbai, a saviour of sorts for the nameless faces up for sale at Mumbai's red light district Kamathipura every night

For the last decade and a half, Thomas has been on a mission to rescue the sex workers .

He fights the brothel owners, convinces the unrelenting authorities and conducts raids and has so far rescued over 65 minors.

Thomas says, “This award is something I was given for my work. How can I keep it for myself. I'm giving the Rs 5 lakh award to a sister, a lady we'd rescued in 1991. I've asked her to buy a house for herself and her family with it."

The gesture comes as a shocker for it's recipient not unfamiliar to the kindness of this saviour who convinced her of a life beyond prostitution 10 years ago and helped rehabilitate her in a different location with a fresh identity. He also helped her get married and start a new life.

The recipient says, "I don't know what to say. We are so blessed. I don't even know how to thank him for this. This money will save my family and give my children a decent living, education and a new life.

Anson says he hopes his work will be an inspiration to others.

In a speech at the the award ceremony, Anson Thomas had the following words -- "My dream is that we should all strive to change our country's red light areas into green light areas."

It certainly seems that the beginning has already got its green signal.


More from this section