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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Largest Red Light Areas In India Where Only Prostitution Is Sustainability

According to a report, there is almost 10 million sex worker in India.

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The place Sonagachi holds the title of Asia’s largest red light area which is located in Kolkata. Wikimedia Commons
The place Sonagachi holds the title of Asia’s largest red light area which is located in Kolkata. Wikimedia Commons

The act of prostitution is going on since ages and it’s still a surviving occupation for many. For lots of girls, it’s a harsh reality but there is very little that they can do about it. Many of the girls are forced into prostitution and some have to choose it because they have no other place to go. Although, prostitution is illegal in India but it is certainly prevalent in our society.

The Land of Kama Sutra
Due to India’s legacy in sex and prostitution, there are some of the largest and infamous red light areas where prostitution is a way of living. Such a place automatically becomes a hot spot for many other criminal activities too. According to a report, there is almost 10 million sex worker in India. The prime clientele of prostitutes includes migrant workers or people who are staying away from their home.

The red light areas in India are the only means of keeping the body and soul together for many of the sex workers. Wikimedia Commons
The red light areas in India are the only means of keeping the body and soul together for many of the sex workers. Wikimedia Commons

There are many cases where a girl turns into prostitution just for the sake of raising some money for their respective families. Some girls are lured into good jobs in big cities and then they are been sold off to pimps and brokers at different brothels. The news of abduction of girls are very common in India and then no one knows whereabouts of them. In very few cases, the police are able to locate the victim.

Even in some cases, parents sell their babies to earn some quick bucks for a very paltry sum. The red light areas in India are the only means of keeping the body and soul together for many of the sex workers.

Take a look at the list of such red light areas situated in India:

Sonagachi, Kolkata
The place Sonagachi holds the title of Asia’s largest red light area which is located in Kolkata. Sonagachi is a mysterious place in itself. As per a survey, this place is home to almost 11,000 sex workers. The harsh reality of Sonagachi red light area is very hard to swallow. The Oscar-winning documentary, Born into Brothels, has brought out the very reality of this place.

Kamathipura, Mumbai
Kamathipura stands second, only after Sonagachi in terms of the number of sex workers working at a place. It is also the oldest red light area of Mumbai. The dilapidated condition of this place will send shivers to anyone visiting here for the very first. The place also houses a beedi factory in its surrounding been owned by women. The place is quite famous due to its visitors like Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim.

There the word Kamathis means workers and hence the place got its first name. Wikimedia Commons
There the word Kamathis means workers and hence the place got its first name. Wikimedia Commons

Kamthipura is also known by the name of Grant Road’s Red light Area. But initially, Kamthipura was known as Lal Bazaar because of its workers. There the word Kamathis means workers and hence the place got its first name. The number of sex workers has reduced to only a few thousand as compared to when it was started.

Budhwar Peth, Pune
Budhwar Peth shortly follows the Sonagachi and Kamathipura in the prostitution business. There are expected five thousand of sex workers working in the shabby lanes of Budhwar Peth.Other than prostitution, the place is also known for being a hub for electronic goods and books.

The shady lights of this red light area make it more difficult to survive and lack of law enforcement agencies adds more agony to it.

G.B. Road, Delhi
Almost every person who has ever visited Delhi must have come across the name of G.B. Road. The place is Delhi’s largest red light area and is quite famous for the hundreds of brothels along the streets.

The place also houses many vehicle parts, wholesale dealers. So, anyone who knows about this place is not necessarily related to prostitution.

Chaturbhujsthan, Muzaffarpur
Chaturbhujsthan is a red light area in Muzaffarpur and interestingly, this place is located right next to an old temple. People believe that this setup has been in continuation since ages and thus it makes sense as to why prostitution is still going strong.

The shady lights of the red light areas make it more difficult to survive and lack of law enforcement agencies adds more agony to it. Wikimedia Commons
The shady lights of the red light areas make it more difficult to survive and lack of law enforcement agencies adds more agony to it. Wikimedia Commons

Itwari, Nagpur
Itwari is a quite popular place among the sex workers and the criminals in Nagpur. In most of the red light areas, criminal activities and prostitution go side by side and this place is no different. The place is also known by the name Ganga Jamuna.

Shivdaspur, Varanasi
This red light area is intact since ancient times and this place is more like a village rather than a locality. But in the past couple of years, this place is seen losing its sheen due to lack of the number of sex workers. The village is home to many cheap brothels been run by the locals.

Baina, Goa
Goa being a holiday destination is supposed to cater the prostitution business and getting customers over here is not that difficult. Baina is a well-known red light area in Goa. Here, pimps bring the customer from bus stands, railway stations and markets, after that the deal is been made.

Although in 2004, the government raided all the properties of Baina beach and tried to root out the prostitution business but still it’s prevalent.