Monday February 19, 2018
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Prostitution: A dark world of ‘missing’ betis

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By Divya Chaubey

Human life is a struggle. A struggle that starts with finding air to breathe and continues with the daily search for feeding the tummy. The day we die, it ends. People do various things to survive. People work for others; work under circumstances that they might not want to; sell their kids; sell their body and dignity with it.

Prostitution is one such job. It is never a choice made consciously. People are either forced in to it after being trafficked from one part of the world to another, or they are just born in to it with nowhere else to go.

The sad truth is, no one wants to be a prostitute, it is illegal in India, yet we have the so called ‘red light area’ in every district.

The society is not honest enough to accept this truth. With a stigma attached to it, it is not acceptable in our society, yet a big part of the population is involved in it. Girls with the tag of prostitutes are refused and disrespected in the society. The irony of it lies in the fact that at one place this society disrespects prostitutes and at the next wants their services for self-gratification. They are termed as impure and characterless but this society is the manager of this sad truth.

Men not only fulfill their sexual desires by visiting prostitutes but they also bring their anger, frustration, mental illness with them to wreak havoc on a prostitute. This is just a picture of what is done to them, every night.

There are so many stories of women who share their plight of being trapped in this dark world. Brenda Myers Powell is one of them, she revealed her story of being a prostitute for 25 years with a website. Similarly, Bharti Tapas, says that when she was 14, she was sold into slavery, beaten and forced into prostitution. The girl was quoted as saying to ABC news.

“When I arrived at the brothel, I refused to do what they told me to and they beat me and starved me for 10 days,” says the soft-spoken girl. “I thought I would rather kill myself than be forced to work as a prostitute.”

She was just a schoolgirl when she found herself in Mumbai, along with thousands of other girls who were beaten, locked in tiny cages or hidden in attics. Some were forced to have sex with 20 men a day under the watchful eyes of madams and pimps.

No girl wants to be a prostitute and never dreams of becoming one. Respect, career, marriage, children and family -this is what every normal girl wants in her life. But when no one wants this to happen, why do we have such a big prostitution web? How does this web function when no one wants to become a prostitute or is ready to give them social acceptance?

Every day we come across several news headlines of missing young girls but hardly bother or think about it. The word ‘missing’ attached to their names remains with them for whole life, which is not only a prefix to their denominations but also to their ‘missing life’. After being named as ‘missing’, these girls get the tag of ‘prostitute’ as their lives continue in the dark world.

The question is if this society needs prostitution so desperately then why the disrespect and rejection of prostitutes in the society.

You need them, you make them, you push them in this dark world, you ill-treat them and finally you make money out of them.

This must end. It is a sad truth that needs to be told. The society must make strides to accept them if it can not stop creating them forcefully. Proper laws (and execution) on human trafficking, child abuse, prostitution, rehabilitation or their kids should be make and effected.

It will take time but even in selling their dignity, they are honest about it. When will the society and state act honest and integrate them and their kids in ‘normal’ societies?

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  • K.K

    Good article.Today very few people talk about this problem.I think no one is talking about this other than few NGOs.Today in every small and big cities of India there are so called Red light area.How painful it is for a girl or women to earn by selling her body.pta nahi kis majburi me ussey ek jaanwar ki Hawas ki aag bujhani Patti hai par hamara Sabhya samaj ussey Vesya kahta hai par USS aadmi ko rakhshas nahi.”Nagarbadhuwen Akbar nahi padhti” a book written by Anil yadav shows how our society and system tortures them.

    • K.K

      That book is “नगर वधूएं अख़बार नही पढती” a Banaras based book.
      The problem of prostution will never be cure.It will always remain in our society.According to child and women development ministry of India there are 3 milion sex worker.35% are below 18 .Some are forced to do it but a large proportion has taken it as an proffetion because they don’t have any other work to do.3 milion are workers but a huge no of customer(abuser) are involve in it.
      It is coming during ancient time.As like poverty it will never end.
      महज कुछ मज़बुरियां रही होंगी बेशर्मी की…
      सरे बाज़ार कोइ इज्ज़त निलाम नहीं करता |

  • K.K

    Good article.Today very few people talk about this problem.I think no one is talking about this other than few NGOs.Today in every small and big cities of India there are so called Red light area.How painful it is for a girl or women to earn by selling her body.pta nahi kis majburi me ussey ek jaanwar ki Hawas ki aag bujhani Patti hai par hamara Sabhya samaj ussey Vesya kahta hai par USS aadmi ko rakhshas nahi.”Nagarbadhuwen Akbar nahi padhti” a book written by Anil yadav shows how our society and system tortures them.

    • K.K

      That book is “नगर वधूएं अख़बार नही पढती” a Banaras based book.
      The problem of prostution will never be cure.It will always remain in our society.According to child and women development ministry of India there are 3 milion sex worker.35% are below 18 .Some are forced to do it but a large proportion has taken it as an proffetion because they don’t have any other work to do.3 milion are workers but a huge no of customer(abuser) are involve in it.
      It is coming during ancient time.As like poverty it will never end.
      महज कुछ मज़बुरियां रही होंगी बेशर्मी की…
      सरे बाज़ार कोइ इज्ज़त निलाम नहीं करता |

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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.