White lips, pale face, breathing in snowflakes, long nights, strange men. The process of exchange of sexual services for money is termed as prostitution. This might not sound as lethal as it turns out to be. Prostitutes are seen as the most degraded members of the human race who are thought to be numb and characterless. People often believe that it is a choice for the prostitutes to get indulged in this truculent business. There are places in our very own motherland where prostitution is a major source of income. For some it is not a choice, it is the only option.
Forced prostitution prevails in many parts of this Country; it is considered a social tradition as well. Girls are forced into this business even before they hit puberty. These girls are mostly from the poorest and uneducated background. Their poverty-stricken family tends to lean on their weak shoulder for the most basic facilities. In a village in Uttar Pradesh, prostitution is a social norm where children live with their mothers without any shred of knowledge about their fathers. On top of that, they don’t earn enough to move out of this turmoil but are stuck to this web waiting for heinous spiders. A village in Karnataka has coined the term “ Devadasi ” for the females which means slaves of god, god, in this case, turns out to be the men.
These women and girls suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which is causing anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, flashbacks, emotional numbing, and hyperalertness. PTSD is normative among prostituted women. Violence in many forms towards sex workers is a known problem internationally. American Journal of Public Health found that 70% of prostitutes suffer from depression. Unexpected pregnancies, contraceptive pills and abuse affect their physical body to a great extent. These problems leave a lifelong scar which is hard to mask. Most of them lead a single mom life, which could be very challenging especially in a male dominated country like India.
To get rid of forced prostitution, one needs to educate the mass and provide them employment. The government and NGOs tend to seek out ways to pluck out this deep rooted evil but without public support, it is not possible. We need to open up to these people, show them that there are hope and life after all. These girls and women tend to be the easy target. For them, it is hard to live in such a smothering environment, topped up with hateful glares and disrespect. We need to treat them like any other fellow being, even if it is “by choice” prostitution.
It’s too cold outside, for angels to fly…for angels to die.
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