T for Trade
When I was growing up, there was a locality in my city where women would dress up and sit outside their houses and look towards the road chewing betel leaves or chatting with other women. While our rickshaw used to pass that area, I would always wonder why only women are seen in that area and why don’t they sit inside? Now, I know if they had been inside their houses they would not have been able to feed themselves or their children.
While prostitution is not illegal in India and some specific related acts are illegal, almost every city has an area popularly known as the red light area. People crack jokes and make fun but no one knows what would have a woman gone through to get to a stage in life where she has to now earn her bread in exchange of sex. While some were abducted at an age as young as 9 and forced into sex trade, some are willingly into it to make money. Imagine the horror of a young girl who was kidnapped or the ambitious girl who wanted to find a job to do better in life or the one who trusted her boyfriend’s marriage proposal.
Not just that, there have been many who have been sold by father or family member for little money and then they kept on getting sold for more and more money as they gained experience and then there was no way out. It was a quicksand and they were stuck. Unsafe sex makes them vulnerable to STDs, HIV and various other medical issues not to forget pregnancy and then the responsibility of bringing up a child who would be pushed in the same quicksand. Would the society even accept a child in school knowing her mother is a sex worker? There is poverty to blame and then there is the exploding population all over the country and the combination of the two is selling a girl child cos she would fetch more money.
The sex trade and trafficking is an industry of those unscrupulous people who lure young women and then make profits out of their misery. While there are organizations that help expose such rackets and help, many remain trapped all through their lives for no fault of theirs. They fell prey to a situation and then one day there was no other choice than to remain where they were. Even the ones who escape and want to come back home face ostracism and their own family refuses to accept them back. When such a situation comes, the pimps and the aunties of that world are ready with open arms to have them back in business.
Sex trade is not an India issue, it’s a world-wide issue. While women are pulled in to this for life, the arrests made are fewer and once set free, these people begin the same game with some other name and some other story. While rehabilitation tries to help, their effectiveness is the bigger question. Sometimes I wonder if it would be possible to control human trafficking by legalizing sex trade. I wonder would rapes in the country come down if men could pay and seek pleasure? May be or may be not.
I feel sad for those were forced into this and who could have done so much more with their lives if they were not tricked into the red light area by someone known.
I am blogging from A to Z during April (#413 on the list) and the theme I have chosen is set on women. Some of the posts will be here for you to know and some will be to reflect and accept. Share your thoughts and let me know how things are going. There is always a room for improvement.