Prostitution and Child Trafficking in India
For over 30 years, India has suffered and is still suffering from a social disaster that destroyed thousands and thousands of lives all around the country. Prostitution and Child trafficking is a tragedy that, until today, is still victimizing minors. It is extracting them from an appropriate and ‘healthy’ environment, stealing their childhood, and violating their basic human right, education.They are kidnapped or, possibly, most commonly sold by their families in return of food or less than 200 Indian Rupees to brothels and human traffickers. While prostitution is viewed as a misfortune, it does not only happen to Indian children — victims are sometimes abducted from nearby countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. According to statistics, a few surveys have been run in 1987. Sarika Misha from pucl.org states, “70% of women are forced into prostitution and 20% of these are child prostitutes.”
Prostitution is cruel: it is a known fact that such an action is barbaric. With this in mind, the grounds in which this treachery act upon are incredibly sophisticated. For every person, the idea of selling a human being to this world of peril and instability, is beyond sanity; however, only people put into such circumstances could give an answer. Questions are asked, concerns are raised by people who wonder, what is the reason behind prostitution?
Sarika Misha, in her reaserch paper about “Child Prostitution In India,” addresses the main reason behind the issue, or the ones that commonly occurred in the past and are occurring in the present. The Devadasi system arose in the top of the list, “Devadasi system is a religious practice in parts of southern India, including Andhra Pradesh, whereby parents marry a daughter to a deity or a temple.The marriage usually occurs before the girl reaches puberty and requires the girl to become a prostitute for upper-caste community members,” conferred Samantha Chattoraj from iml.jou.ufl.edu. Misha explains the Davadasi system deeper, she says, “many of the devdasis are the girls who were dedicated to the Goddess Yellamma by their parents at a very young age. They are the servants of God as they are married to the Goddess. This ceremony takes place twice a year. The main one is during the second fortnight of January at Karnatakas Saudatti village in South West of Miraj. Once the girl is married to a Goddess she cannot marry a mortal.” To follow up, prostitution and child trafficking that are viewed as curse in the western world are seen as a tradition or a religious ritual in the India culture.
This time in the contrary of beliefs and religious purposes, another reason behind this issue is due to the ‘idiocy’ and the ‘ignorance’ of people. Sarika Misha ranks virginity as the second main reason of prostitution and child trafficking in India. Old men are the most loyal and constant clients to brothels, which prefer young and ‘fresh’ girls. They tend to pay prodigious amounts of money for a virgin girl. As these ‘illiterate’ and ‘ferocious’ old men are roaming over an unfortunate minor, they are not aware of the damage that they are causing to this poor innocent girl. they are not aware of the damage that they are causing to her emotions and mental sustainability. They are not aware that they are stealing not only her virginity, but stealing her dignity and pride to be alive.
Religion and ignorance are not the only causes to prostitution. There’s another side to the story that until today is still ‘ignored’ or ‘censored’ by people. This time, the third main root of the issue is more on the economical aspect than the social. Poverty in India alone is accounted to be over 300 Million of the total population according to the IFAD, which is affecting a countless amount of people. That being said, there is an immense mass of individuals that cannot afford to buy a piece of bred. These people view girls as an ‘unecessary’ extra weight on their shoulders, hence their families decided to arrange a marriage for them or send them off to work, where in both cases they end up being sold for an exchange of a couple hundred rupees. K. Jaishankar and Debaratti Haldar state in their paper about “Prostitution In India: Issues and Trends,” “Prostitution in India is a serious social problem and its solution has been rendered difficult by the problem of poverty,” they add, “Poverty does not create imbalances in gender and sex. It only aggravates already existing imbalances in power and therefore increases the vulnerability of those who are at the receiving end of gender prejudice.”
Prostitution is one of the oldest professions of the world practiced since the birth of the organized society, explain K.Jaishankar and Debaratti Haldar. The Indian society and the world’s society in general are quite aware of the gravity of the issue, and of the speed it is increasing. In this present, there are a few activitionistes fighting against prostitution and sacrificing so much in order to give those sex slave children an opportunity to live. Urmi Basu, founder of “New Light,” a non profit organization against prostitution and child trafficking states, “No child, no woman, no human being should be selling their bodies for survival. It’s a shame on our civil society if we allow it to do that. So every person in every corner of this world needs raise a voice and say this has to stop.” Children trafficking for prostitution is a tragedy that not only Indian minors and minors from neighboring countries are threatened of, whereas, there is a significant amount of kids from different parts of the world that find themselves suddenly thrown into a world with no mercy.
Misha, Sarika . “PUCL Bulletin, .” pucl.org. N.p., August 1987. Web. 25 Nov 2013. <http://www.pucl.org/from-archives/Child/prostitution.htm>.
Jaishankar , K . “erces.” erces.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov 2013. <http://www.erces.com/journal/articles/archives/volume3/v02/v03.htm>.
Chattoraj , Samantha. “Genesis & Growth .” The Devadasi system . Copyright © 2002 Samantha Chattoraj. All rights reserved, 2002. Web. 25 Nov 2013. <http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Spring02/Chattaraj/genesis.html>.