Sex workers from state lead a dual life (India)

Posted on July 30, 2012

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It is well-known that Andhra Pradesh tops the list in human trafficking and sex workers operating in other parts of the country. These women have accepted their fate and choose to lead a dual life even as they attempt to get some respect back home. There are a whopping 6,88,751 “registered” sex workers in the country and AP leads the list with more than one lakh registered female sex workers as per the Union ministry for health and family welfare.

Gastin Bastion Road in Delhi is the illegal red light area run under the watchful eyes of police. This road has been the address of several sex workers most of whom have been forced into the flesh trade for money. Interestingly, there are kothas on this road which have been identified to be specifically known for South Indian women. It is understood that most of these commercial sex workers have chosen to accept their fate after a struggle for survival. The solace for these sex workers is that they are able to send money back home. However, the family back home is oblivious of their source of income, as they believe that they are either maids or small-time employees.

One such commercial sex worker, who is on an annual visit to her family here agreeing to divulge the details on condition of anonymity, said that this dual life is not a happy solution but a practical one. She narrated how she was duped and taken to Delhi only to be forced into the flesh trade. This 30-year-old commercial sex worker, a native of Kakinada, chose to keep her family in the dark of her profession in Delhi. She admitted that it was very difficult to live with constant humiliation and fear of raids.

After much struggle she has managed to earn enough to be self-sufficient and also save some money. “I have saved enough and I now also own some land in Kakinada which I hope will be my source of income when I get old. I agree this is not a very rosy situation to be in, but what choices do I have? I have a son who is getting education and care under my parents and other family members here from the money I send them.” When asked if the family is not curious to know the father of the child, she asks “Is it very difficult for us to show anyone as husband when we have chosen to lead a dual life?” She reveals that she is not the only one leading a dual life. Many sex workers of G. B. Road choose to hide their true source of livelihood.

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