7 places in India where prostitution is a ‘tradition’; women depend totally on it for their livelihood

| Friday, May 22, 2015 - 17:27
First Published |

7 places in India where prostitution is a ‘tradition’; women depend totally on it for their livelihood

NEW DELHI: It is very clear that why prostitution (exchange of sexual services for money) is believed to be the oldest occupation in the world. In the early times, courtesans enjoyed a royal status in the empires, something that has been dropped down to a terribly poor condition in India today.

Even though prostitution is illegal in India, did you know that there are places in the country where women even today are largely dependent on it for their livelihood? Scroll down to know the reality of these places…

Kamathipura, Mumbai

This place in Mumbai no longer exists by its actual name and is quite famous for brothels and is now popular as ‘Red Street of Bombay’. The area boasts of being the second largest Red Light Areas (RLA) of Asia. Undoubtedly, the area is one of the most dangerous places in the financial capital where the crime rate is not likely to come down ever. Well, is that how we really tag Mumbai as the ‘City of Dreams’?

Wadia, Gujarat

The women in this area, ever since the older times, have been popular for supporting their families through prostitution, while men here actually find customers for the ladies. In accurate words, the men in this town are pimps and the culture has been existing for centuries, because of which it is difficult to even put an end to it.  Education drives and mass weddings have left a small effect but the practice at large is being followed illegally.

Shivdaspur, Varanasi

Varanasi since ancient times is famous for brothels and the elegant danseuses, what we call it as a ‘tawaif culture’. Some Bollywood movies too have shown the darker side of the culture but a similar situation still persists and at a more atrocious scale.

This area, situated 10 km from the Varanasi Railway Station is one of the biggest Red Light Areas of Uttar Pradesh.

Several NGOs too are established in and around the area that helps in saving kids from getting into prostitution. 

GB Road, Delhi

If you are a Delhiite, it is not possible that you are not aware about this place, irrespective of your gender. Garstin Bastion Road, popularly known as GB Road is another commercial centre of the national capital where one can find old multi-storied buildings adjacent to each other where the ground floor act as regular shops while the rest of the floors as brothels. This is the area where girls and minors from the entire country are sold.

Nat Purwa, Uttar Pradesh

A small village in Uttar Pradesh, Nat Purwa has a tradition of prostitution for 400 years now. Approximately a two and half hour journey from the state’s capital, Lucknow, this village of about 5, 000 makes women dependent largely on prostitution for their income. 

The kids in this village, usually living with their mothers hardly know who their fathers are. Even though some schools have been set up, the age-old tradition is still alive, majorly because of male lethargy.

Devadasis concept - Karnataka

In a small section in Karnataka, the concept of the ‘Devadasis’ is followed even today where a girl is ‘dedicated’ to worship and service of a god or a temple for her pending life. Children, in an indirect way are ‘married’ to the Goddess, after which they devote their lives to their religion. Their virginity is then auctioned off in the community. The girls spend their rest of the life as prostitutes who earn money for their families. In spite of being illegal, reports suggest that the practice still continues and is as awful as it sounds.

Shonagachi, Kolkata

Lastly, Shonagachi is not only the most dangerous and dishonorable area, but it is also the largest Red Light Areas of Asia. Located along the banks of the Ganges in North Kolkata, the region witnesses the highest crime rate in Kolkata. Approximately 30 minutes from Shonagachi, the baiji culture (tawaif culture) is still prevalent at the Premchand Boral Lane or the Haarkata lane. Apart from prostitution, the oldest RLA in Asia is also known for several criminal activities.

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Annihilation of Prostitution in India.

Eradication of prostitution is possible if government(Central & State) take severe action against that trade by providing them a diversionary profession for survival. This is due to the lethargy of Government at highed level and corruption at Police level besides carelessness of Local Officials.

annihilate Prostitution

Here I am trying my level best to destroy prostitituion, I have contacted to Indian rescue mission and availed them data of pimps and sex workers, but I an't finding they could do sth. I am alone let me know what help I can get from you to uproot prostitution. there is very big racket, even collecting data on them also demand huge amount of time, whether I collect data or engaged in removing prostitution. I will be waiting your answer

It's not possible to complete

It's not possible to complete uproot but you can help them by creating awareness.. You can start NGO to educate their children..


i am journalist . i want to interview you . so can you plz send me your contact no. to my mail ID . ghanavanthamn319@gmail.com

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Destroy the proustite business.

I want you and me to work together to destroy the proustite business from india. I believe that TT can be destroyed only if we will make some harshest step and feel and treat them like our families.

To help prostitutes to get rid of prostitution

Dear sir/madam, This is pradeep ghosh from West Bengal, I have been going through many post and blogs observed that these ladies turned into prostitutes due proper unemployment factor. So I have solution for this I can provide work to thousands of ladies may be after that they will live a good life ahead.

Sonargachi is absolutely safe

Sonargachi is absolutely safe provides u use condoms ..there is no crime there ..just pay money enjoy and come back


there are several men or women suffering from mental peace, living alone, divorced by cruelty, ignored, harressed etc living their precious time in hell. such cases there must be some official brothells house where they may have relaxed. why not...?

provide dignity for prostitutes

It is not wrong to earn livelihood by prostitution. One has the right to decide whom to do sex with. They are doing a good work for the society by satistisfiying the sexual urges and preventing other females from getting sexually assaulted. Government should provide medical help and protection to prostitutes . Prostitution should be considered as a profession. And create laws to protect prostitutes . As such prostitution is legal in India. But in this article it was mentioned as illegal. Kindly correct.

Forced prostituion should be stopped

In Khalpara siliguri their is lots girls forced do sex and they are sold by relatives or boy friend.... Even at less then 20000/- I will write full story later ...

Prostitution makes reduce the

Prostitution makes reduce the rape crimes in our country.it should be legally licenced but not forcing the person by compulsion to sex with someone .the thing is govt should give awareness and tell them about disease prevention.moreover we are all humans that we should marry as early as possible to avoid go to prostitution and reduce masturbation

Prostitution IS LEGAL in India

The very basic argument of your article is flawed as the Govt. of India allows a woman to earn money by using her body. India is one of the few countries where a man and woman cannot be jailed for having sexual intercourse in exchange of money or any other kind of goods/services, if the act takes place with the consent of the participants who are over 18 years of age. Prostitution in India IS LEGAL, however its not regulated. Which basically means that a woman can freely indulge in earning livelihood by offering sex for money, but she cannot form an institution or be a part of one that tries to regulate the trade. This is why Brothels are illegal in India, but prostitutes can always go free. Though cops harass them only because nobody knows the law.

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