6 places in India where Prostitution is the means of Livelihood for Women

A brothel in Kaathipura, Red Light area of Mumbai, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Feb 11, 2017: Prostitution is one of the oldest occupations in India. There are many towns and cities which have particular areas which are home to the red light areas, wherein man prostitutes and their kids live and continue their livelihoods. And even though prostitution is an illegal act in India, here are few of the places where prostitution is the only means of livelihood for women:

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Shonagachi, Kolkata

Shonagachi is not only the most dangerous and dishonourable area, but it is also the largest Red Light Area of Asia. It is located along the banks of the Ganges in North Kolkata. The region also witnesses the highest crime rate in Kolkata. Approximately 30 minutes from Shonagachi, the baiji culture (tawaif culture) is still prevalent at the Premchand Boral Lane or the Haarkata lane.

Nat Purwa, Uttar Pradesh

Nat Purwa has a tradition of prostitution for 400 years now. Approximately a two and half hour journey from the state’s capital, Lucknow, this village of about 5, 000 makes women dependent largely on prostitution for their income. The kids in this village, usually living with their mothers hardly know who their fathers are. Even though some schools have been set up, the age-old tradition is still alive, majorly because of male lethargy.

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Devadasis concept – Karnataka

The concept of the ‘Devadasis’ is followed even today where a girl is ‘dedicated’ to worship and service of a god or a temple. Children, in an indirect way are ‘married’ to the Goddess, after which they devote their lives to their religion. Their virginity is then auctioned off in the community. The girls spend their rest of the life as prostitutes who earn money for their families.

Shivdaspur, Varanasi

Varanasi since ancient times is famous for brothels and the elegant danseuses, what we call a ‘tawaif culture’. This area, situated 10 km from the Varanasi Railway Station is one of the biggest Red Light Areas of Uttar Pradesh. Several NGOs too are established in and around the area that helps in saving kids from getting into prostitution. 

Kamathipura, Mumbai

This area boasts of being the second largest Red Light Areas (RLA) of Asia. Undoubtedly, the area is one of the most dangerous places in the financial capital where the crime rate is not likely to come down ever. Many documentaries and films have also been made to show the lives of women living in the Kamathipura.

GB Road, Delhi

Garstin Bastion Road, popularly known as GB Road is another commercial centre of the national capital where one can find old multi-storied buildings adjacent to each other where the ground floor act as regular shops while the rest of the floors as brothels. This is the area where girls and minors from the entire country are sold.

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks