Local News


Activism runs in Urmi Basu’s family; her grandfather was a doctor who set up a school for dalit  children (India’s untouchable caste) in his own home. Urmi says her family “always challenged everything that’s traditional in India.”

Thirteen years ago, she combined her passion for gender equality and her background and education in social work—along with 10,000 rupees, or $200—to found New Light India. New Light is non-profit organization based in the red light district of Calcutta, intended to help victims of sex trafficking and provide healthcare to people living with HIV/AIDS.

With an estimated 40,000 new trafficked sex workers in the city each year, it’s no small task. But Urmi is a woman of great determination. She was in Louisville recently and she sat down to talk with us about her work, and how sex trafficking in India is part of the larger global culture of gender inequality. 

In this week’s Juicy Fruit segment, a look at the Kaitlyn Hunt case leads to a conversation about the application of statutory rape laws to queer relationships among teenagers.

Follow Up:

Laura produces Curious Louisville, Strange Fruit, and other audio news stories for WFPL.