The real name of Gangubai Kathiawadi was Ganga Harjivandas and she was famous as Mafia Queen Gangubai Kathiawadi. She was a native of Gujarat. She earned a name for herself as one of Mumbai’s well-known and influential brothel owners in the 50s and 60s.
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|Real Name||Ganga Harjivandas|
|Other names||Gangubai Kothewali
Madam of Kamathipura
|Birth Date||1939 (As per sources)|
|Birth Place||Kathiawar, British India
(present-day Gujarat, India)
|Husband Name||Ramnik Lal|
Gangubai Kathiawadi Famous for:
Her movement towards the betterment of sex workers and orphan children.
She is also Famous for her biopic “Gangubai Kathiawadi”.
Gangubai Kathiawadi Real Story
From a very young age, Gangubai dreamed of becoming a Bollywood actor and wanted to come to Mumbai to follow her dreams.
During her college, when she was 16 years old she fell in love with Ramnik Lal, who was an accountant of her father. Ganga ran away with him from Kathiawad and came to Mumbai to settle down and start a new life together. Just when she was dreaming of starting a new life with her beloved, he betrayed her. Gangubai’s husband sold her for Rs 500 at a brothel. This betrayal ruined her life as Ganga and started her new life as Gangubai. She became a prostitute and lived in the red light area of Mumbai ‘Kamathipura’. Many underworld mafia people were her customers.
Karim Lala was a powerful mafia in the city in the 1960s. The red light area of Kamathipura was also under Karim’s rule. She was raped by a member of Karim’s gang and she appealed to Karim Lala for justice. Later, Karim Lala and Gangu’s relationship took a new turn and Gangu made him his brother by tying rakhi on his wrist. Karim Lala also gave the reign of Kamathipura to his sister Gangubai as Ganguly his sister and she emerged as one of the ‘Mafia Queens’ of Mumbai.
After all the troubles in her life, she was determined to work for the good of all other sex workers. She was a kind of godsend for sex workers and orphans.
Her life was documented in the 2011 book, Mafia Queens of Mumbai, by writer and journalist Hussain Zaidi.
Gangubai Kathiawadi died from a heart arrest inside her Kamathipura home in 2008.
Gangubai once met prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and he approved her proposal to protect the red light areas after looking towards her sagacity.
The film ‘Gangubai Kathiwadi’ (Sanjay Leela Bhansali Production) based on Gangubai’s struggling life and her work for the betterment of Kamathipura will be released soon. Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt will play the role of Gangubai and the film is set to hit theaters on 18 February 2022.
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