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Bill Gates goes teary eyed on hearing the story of a sex worker

Bill Gates goes teary-eyed on hearing the story of a sex worker whose daughter committed suicide after being harassed and detested by her school friends, this is a true revelation by Ashok Alexander in his book “A Stranger Truth: Lessons in Love, leadership and Courage from India's Sex Workers” Alexander headed the Gates Foundation's HIV/AIDS prevention programme ‘Avahan’ for more than 10 years.

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Bill Gates has at several occasions visited the country as a part of his AIDS prevention programme. The book reveals this heart-wrenching incident while highlighting the life of sex workers and how India has been successful in fighting against AIDS at a large extent. The author reveals about some of the sad but true stories of sex workers and both their struggles and hopes of a better life.

The author states that during the times when Bill and wife Melinda visited India they were completed devoted and concerned about the community of sex workers and ways of improving their plight. He adds, “They sat cross-legged on the floor, facing the community members who were sitting in a small circle. Melinda asked some of them if they would relate their stories. All the tales were sad ones - of rejection, utter poverty, and then somewhere a spark of hope. They were brutally honest and raw.”

One of the stories in the book is drafted around an incident that took place when Gate’s visited India in the early 2000s. The story is about a woman who was related to Gates and how she had hidden the details of her life as a sex worker working from her daughter, who then was studying in high school.

But the fate took an ugly turn when her classmates discovered the truth and they went on harassing and teasing the girl, which led her to severe depression.

And one day her mother came home and found out that her child had hung herself from the ceiling fan. She left a note that read that she could not take it anymore. The author here writes “I noticed that Bill, next to me, had his head down and was crying quietly, Alexander recalls in the book, published by Juggernaut.”

After Alexander left a high-profile job to lead Avahan in 2003, he was thrust into an India far away from the comfort zones he had lived in all his life.

It was a depressing place where women sold themselves for Rs 50 and 14-year-old kids injected drugs. It was the world of transgender and of gay men in a country that criminalized it then.

It was a strange and somewhat inhuman place where women fought a daily battle for a barely decent life and strange truckers, journeymen walked in.

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