Prostitution in India- Though unnoticed, but a grave concern

What would you say about the development model of your country when you witness a 12 year old girl awaiting a car late in the evening, which would take her to a place where she would be forced to serve the lust of multiple men? The decent and reputed section of our society neither pays any heed to nor is concerned in any manner with the humiliation of such women. Rarely I see any articles or comments that highlight this issue; however when national dailies are filled with luring advertisements of massage parlors proposing any and every service, I comprehend the acceptance and demand of this trade. Let me make you aware of a few figures.

Of more than 3 million sex workers in India, approximately 35 percent are below the age of 18 years. While the Right to Education Act promises compulsory education for children of this age group and the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act prohibits child labor below the age of 14 years, which law or custom is favoring such harassing deeds? Vital to note, The Immoral Traffic (Suppression) Act of 1956 does not prohibit prostitutes to offer services privately. The Act is now amended to The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, which limits; however does not comprehensively favors the end of prostitution in India (the trade is thus not unlawful).

Vending of girls and women by close relatives, neighbors, and even by acquaintances is a common scenario. Dishonest hopes of marriage, untrue promises of work, unplanned meeting with a pimp, and an urge for quick and easy payouts are a few reasons that back the coming in of girls and women in flesh trade. For sure, lack of proper work prospects, unbearable poverty, unhelping educational services, and the never-ending lust of men are the real factors that are liable for such downgrading of our society. Uncontrolled population that survives on limited resources is one of the most fundamental causes that add to the severity.

The Sonagachi in Kolkata, G.B. Road in New Delhi, and Kamathipura in Mumbai are places that are known to all owing to their fame and approach to lure men. Are the state governments, police officials, social workers, and the so-called leaders of communities blind to not have noticed uncountable places of prostitution in almost every part of the country, where sex workers are coerced to trade their body for pity cash? Even those, entering this business on their own aspiration, seek help to overcome the day-to-day murdering of dignity. Rarely do we see the police take any severe action, which too is often due to lack of cooperation by sex workers.

When we talk about educating every child, providing basic necessities to every household, ensuring security, and such other fundamental advancements, why do we disremember those young girls and women who spend sleepless nights and appalling days to content the lust of men? Are we ever concerned about the countless episodes of rapes that take place inside the brothels every day snatching away the most precious belonging of such women- ‘dignity’? What about those guiltless lives that commence from such brothels and witness the evil happen right from the very childhood days? Questions are many, but hardly anyone cares.

Not that complicated it is to salvage girls/ women from this reprehensible practice and connect them to the common group. State governments and the policemen, along with support of the general public can bring in the much-needed variation to the lives of deprived females. Above all, uncontrollable lust of man has to now die (an easy way can be meditation, yoga, and faith towards the divine God), or will have to be killed. Females looking for quick money will have to understand that the pride of womanhood shall not be put at stake. Let us not overlook the fact that prostitution is not just related with the misery of sex workers, but is also adding to the unproductivity of men and boys trapped in this enticing world of sin.

Lastly, we must also not oversee the acceptance and prevalence of this trade since centuries. Accept it or not, prostitution has been an integral part of our society since ages, which means that complete prohibition is somewhat unmanageable. However, coerced flesh trade is a curse. Plus, the coming in of underage girls in this trade is unpardonable. Besides curbing these two evils, organizing legal prostitution shall be the new government’s mission, which appeared to be lacking in the former governments. The law makers must ensure comprehensive execution of the laid down laws, along with assuring secure and easy exit to those who are willing to quit.

Places like Netherlands and Germany have put forth a model, wherein the trade has been regulated by the law of the land. Vital to note, in 2002, Germany passed a law that removed general prohibition on flesh trade, which permitted prostitutes to attain usual work contracts- An attempt towards bettering the lives of sex workers. Though Indian culture and social norms do not allow clear approval to this practice, can we disremember the episodes of Amrapali and Nagarvadhu, which existed in the ancient India? None of us can deny the fact that absolute suppression of this trade is just a dream. Indeed, the policies and regulations of the government need to be stringent enough to restrain the evils of child prostitution and forced trade.

And when we know that total eradication of prostitution from our country is next to impossible, some workable measures are the need of the hour. A skilled committee can be bestowed upon with the responsibility of outlining the limits and rules this business. The committee shall also establish the link between organized flesh trade and drop in instances of rapes, if any. Remember, we cannot ever justify that with easily accessible paid sex services, rapes can be lessened. Involvement of personalities from the religious, corporate, and political sphere in rape cases proves the fact that people who can uncomplicatedly hire prostitutes are not invulnerable to commit rapes. Both evils are equally immoral hence a deep study of the matter is looked for.

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