A sex worker's life was the inspiration for leading designers of India to make a strong plea against human trafficking through their fashionwear at the ongoing Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) Friday.
The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) collaborated with international NGO youcanfree.us to raise awareness against human trafficking. The show was inspired by an actual sex worker Alice (name changed), who was rescued by the NGO from GB Road, in the capital.
The show started off with a ballad performance by Nicolina, which reflected the emotions that a victim of sex trafficking goes through when pushed into the trade. Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi and tennis ace Leander Peas also came out in support for the cause.
Manish Arora, Suneet Varma, J.J. Valaya, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani, Shantanu and Nikhil, Ashish Soni, Lecoanet Hemant, Ravi Bajaj, Ritu Beri and Ashima-Leena were the designers who gave a makeover to Alice through their outfits, while celebrity photographer Subi Samuel caught her in camera lens.
"About five years ago, I went to the spiritual city of Vrindavan. What I discovered there were children, especially young girls, being pushed into sexual exploitation and it moved me so much that I started a small movement. And this gave me a chance to provide them vocational and health care," Vivek said.
"Five years from now, that small movement has grown into a big movement with free schools and 3,000 girls have been given a new life," he added.
The show saw models walk the ramp in the same outfits that were created by the 12 designers for Alice, whose photographs played a perfect backdrop.
The highlight of the show was Leander, walking the runway with Alice, while taking a final bow.
"Being in a country known as the capital of human trafficking, I was astonished to learn the fact but it is something we cannot hide and keep under the carpet," said Leander.
"Alice is my sense of inspiration to make a difference in this world and the reason why I am here today is because of my very dear friend Subi Samuel, who has created all these amazing images.
"He first came and spoke to me about this project, which is very close to my heart, and something which I believe is needed to be talked about. Each and every one of us should be like a drop in the ocean to make a change," he added.
Youcanfree.us, founded by Sujo John, is an international movement that rescues women out of forced prostitution.