Here’s another take on the life of the sex workers at Delhi’s Red Light Area, at Swami Shradhanad Marg.
One will never invite these females to visit one’s family, is a fact. For they are one of the 4,500 sex workers who live and work at Garstin Bastion Road. Many of the women who work there say they have no objection in selling their body for the sake of living.
G. B Road, of course, is a world of its own. But they can have a glimpse of other worlds from the window of their rooms, from their balconies. Across the road is the Indian Railways Coach Care Centre from where firangi tourists secretly take their pictures. A wine and beer shop stands next door. If a customer buys one of them a bottle of whisky for their services, they all share it. Because booze is the only way that helps them, swallow their grief.
Dena Bank and HDFC Bank are down the lane, but what do these banks have to do with them? Nothing, to be precise. As they don’t earn legally, they don’t have bank accounts. The learned people in the city admit that the legalization of their trade is a remote possibility, may be because legalization would encourage prostitution.
There are two mosques in the back lane and a Hanuman Mandir in front. “We celebrate all festivals”, they say. They stay together, like family, a family with members of different religions, a family that respects another religion.
If there are things bad about it, there are some good things too. They are happy to be here, not that they have any other option. Says one of the females, “My three boys were born here. The best friendships of my life were made here. My six co-workers live together like sisters. This kotha is my home”.
Have you walked beyond the mandir? These Brothels there attract more crowds due to their fair-complexioned girls either trafficked from Nepal and Assam or forced to work at the hands of poverty.
There’s an MCD school here but these women send their boys to a school away from their so-called home, just because G.B. Road is a dangerous place. These sex workers don’t want their children to keep the wrong company. They confessed even their children are always worried about their friends discovering where they live.
Watching others live when you just exist is a tough thing to do. And these women are leading a terrible life for the sake of few pennies. Happily.