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Friday, January 29, 2016

Virginity is their curse - 14 lanes of Kamathipura

“This tablet makes me look sexy”— Rekha

Durga was renamed Rekha(name changed), because her name scared customers. She entertains 8 to 10 clients on a good night and is beaten every time she mentions home. Eldest of 5 siblings, Rekha was sent away from her village in Karnataka as the ‘child of god’ at the age of 12. We have been exposed to various shades of prostitution, thanks to our films but ever tried talking to one of them?

I bring you this story from the 14 lanes of Kamathipura, divided according to regional and linguistic backgrounds of the sex workers. It's different when you hear stories about child trafficking and mean brothel madams but the reality of these lanes will make you question every privilege you take for granted.

Life Hack: Virginity is their curse, girls are beaten and locked in dark boxes for days to break their will* to fight.
Today we have celebrities talking about body shaming and stereotypes but these lanes make our fight seem so hollow. Young girls being sold on the pretext of virginity, drugged for pleasure, fed cow steroids to make them look voluptuous. 

Most of these girls are victims of the devadasi culture, extreme poverty leads to the family selling off their young virgin daughter’s to brothel owners. This tradition simply uses the religious tradition to funnel girls from impoverished, lower caste families into the lucrative sex trade industry.

Harassed, trafficked, tricked or sold into prostitution, they are stuck in this vicious circle of sex. They are socially ostracised and vulnerable, Kamathipura is the only home these women will ever know. We look down at them, but the fact is that we are failing as humans.

I wrapped myself in 2 layers of clothing, held a huge bag in front to avoid any physical contact, pulled my hair back to avoid any attention but those eyes tear your soul. Every step you take is like walking through requiem of dreams. Rekha’s naive vulnerability was in stark contrast to the image I had of the contemporary sex worker, they are as human as us. There’s no rational reason for me to explore such stories, but I feel very connected with women who need a voice. 
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6 comments:

  1. Beautiful.... Loved this post! You are right... :)

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  2. Beautiful.... Loved this post! You are right... :)

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  3. It aches in your heart when you walk through the lanes of KAmathipura...i visited the place once and each pair of eyes peeping out of the windows slit tell a tale...Loved each word that you penned down...

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  4. Kudos to u to cover dis part of d bad world v all live in..every human sure is a god send n deserve respect n humility as every1 else...ur blog sure will help showcase d dire straits they live in..all d bery best

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