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WADIA: The Tiny Village Of Gujarat Where Prostitution Is a Tradition

Image Courtesy: DNA India

There are a couple of incidents in India that are enough to surprise you! Prostitution is one of them. When the topic of prostitution arises in India, then undoubtedly raise some eyebrows. Prostitution is assumed to be completely an “offensive job” despite such big work and projects being done in big cities of India. More than offence it is evaluated as a “sin in India”.

Prostitution is the practice of business where people take part in Sexual Activity in exchange for money. People who are committed in the field are often termed as “Prostitutes”. This procedure happens in an assortment of structures and the lawful status changes from nation to nation and also within the localities of the nations starting from being upheld to a direct profession. We are standing in the 21st century, male, female, transgender, all are engaged in this. Prostitution is always a controversial and problematic issue in the world for centuries.

Gujarat is not an exceptional one!

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SOME UNKNOWN FACTS ABOUT PROSTITUTION IN GUJARAT

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The village called Wadia has recently gripped the eyes of media where most girls are raised to earn living selling sex and boys to be their pimps. Do you know? Even years back unmarried woman of this village aided themselves through prostitution. It was a profession that women earlier accepted at the time of poverty and now it has become a kind of norm over there.

When the children of Wadia go out to study they make it a point not to reveal their village name. Here customers search for women of different families and also negotiate the rates between Rs 500 to 1000. The place is inhabited by the nomadic tribe called “Saraniyas”, girls here are groomed to become prostitutes at an early age and boys are trained to become pimps to fetch customers for them.

The village of Wadia is located in the North of Gujarat and is the only village openly known for prostitution. Since, pre Independence era, this village is known to entertain a male for varied reasons. That adaptation of the village has turned into pimps and now they openly solicit clients for the women of their family. Men come to this village from far away places like Mumbai, Rajasthan, Ahmedabad, and more.

“We are poor and do not have water. We have no other option rather than to accept prostitution and earning big”- stated Valiben Saraniya, one of the inhabitants of Wadia. Women of this village are not aware of world development and gender equality in places like this will always remain a distant dream.

Other parts of Gujarat like Vadodara also have brothels. The number of prostitution incidents flashed on the internet reveals that the sleepy town of Vadodara is slowly unveiling the other side of the city. Certain parts of the city namely ‘MangalBazar’, ‘Vadodara Railway Station’, and ‘Jetalpur Road’ have a sordid reputation maybe because Vadodara does not have a “red light area” hence prostitution thrives here in hotels but what’s more interesting is that a lot of it is online.

LAWS FOR PROTECTING THE SEX WORKERS AND THEIR RIGHTS

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Indians mostly interpret the Law for sex workers according to their understanding. But the truth is far different. The primary law in India dealing directly with sex workers is the Immoral Traffic Act of 1956. Under this act, sex workers are free to practice their profession privately. But the law frowns at urging customers at public places. Customers may be punished for sexual activities that are conducted publically. Male prostitution is not recognized by Indian Law till now but consensual anal intercourse is illegal under the Indian Penal Code.

HISTORY OF PROSTITUTION IN INDIA

The concept of prostitution routes back to Indian Mythology. Previously there existed the Devadasi system where it was a frequent practice among the Hindus to contribute their female child for dancing and worshipping God. And eventually, these Devdasis lost their protectors and were mishandled by the temple priests. This was the early form of prostitution that further flourished in the British era.

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PROSTITUTION ON A HIGH IN INDIA

There are about 3 million sex workers all across the country, an irresistible majority in the 15-33 years group. From poverty to the erosion of values, there are an array of factors that are pushing more men and women and young girl to take part in prostitution all across the nation. Among them, the most vital points are poverty, erosion of traditional values, desire to earn easy money, uneducated and unskilled youths.

Covid-19 has brought the entire community of sex workers to a complete halt overnight. It was sudden and unexpected for all the workers engaged in prostitution. When the country of 1.3 billion people is forced to lock themselves wherever they are, then only the most underprivileged and least cared for population are best forgotten and left to their fate.

India is one of the fastest-growing and developing countries today but some dark corners in the country are lagging behind with the present era. It is hard to assume that in some places of India, habituates are forced into prostitution even before they hit puberty.

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