Life As A Prostitute
There are almost 4500 sex workers at Garstin Bastion Road who sell their bodies to earn bread and butter. They do not have any objection in doing such; for it’s us who pushed them towards such profession.
Life isn't easy for the prostitutes of Delhi. Their day starts when the dusk prevails up to the early hours of the next morning. Few choose it for themselves, few are forced into it. But undoubtedly, it is an occupation of hazards.
Problems abound! No holidays and no night of peaceful sleep!
There are 96 brothels in total, located among the 20 main buildings of G.B.Road. Prostitutes and health workers once a week sit and discuss the stories and issues faced on daily basis by the prostitutes
According to a monthly publication “Red Light Despatch” there are around 2 million women sex workers across the country. They not only operate in publicly known brothels like G.B.Road of Delhi or Kamati Pura of Mumbai but also operate from various locations like massage parlors or just through a phone call to escort services.
Speaking to a sex worker namely Pinky (alias name), I realized that not every prostitute is forced to take up the profession but some choose to follow it because of the poverty, child marriage and rest of the social issues they face.
“It’s easy money. We can support our families and children. At least we can afford to send our children to good schools for better education. I don’t want my daughter to follow the same profession. I chose the profession because I was forced to get married to man much older than me. I decided to run away from home and landed up here. Now this is my present and I do not know about my future but I definitely want my child to have a good future.”
When asked about the money they earn, Pinki said, “It depends on the customer. On an average we charge around Rs 1000 to 1500 for the service but we also have to face days when the business does not run good and we have to sell ourselves for even Rs 500.”
“Moreover we face good and bad customers as well. I have been beaten and abused when I was new to this profession. But now I have the liberty to choose whom I want to serve. Some customers also pay tips if they are happy with the service and it usually happens during the festive times.” She added.
There are many women in the profession like Pinki who choose to live as sex worker but there are many women who are forced to accept it. Young girls around 15-16 years of age are brought from far flung areas and promised to find them jobs but are later sold to these brothels. And once they are trapped, they cannot leave the place.
Some sex workers even do not have any idea of what happened to their family back home. They don’t even know whether their parents and sibling are alive or not. They have made up new friends and families with the fellow sex workers. They share rooms with them and sometimes their sorrows and happiness.
Initially there were around 5 brothels in the city operating since the Mughal reign. But the British later closed them all leaving one open. The name of G.B. Road was officially changed to Swami Shradhanand Marg in 1965 but it’s still famous with the name it carried years ago.
Thousands of sex workers are still trapped in the profession and waiting for the tomorrow that will probably never come. Some sex workers save money and initiate a new life once they grow older and some prefer to stay.