MUMBAI: A lot of people claim Mumbai to be the safest city in the country having strict Law and Order as well as measures to prevent atrocities against women and children. Child labour has been made illegal and rules have been made to abolish such practices and punish those who employ children.
Yet, a significant number of children are employed in hotels, workshops, garages, shops etc to do odd job activities or as skilled & unskilled labours to earn their daily livelihood.
Mumbai, also known as one of the biggest sex trade centre in the country having several ‘Red-Light Districts’ where women belonging to different backgrounds thrive as ‘Sex Workers’ to make ends meet.
It is horrifying to know that there are 40% children & teenagers, working as sex workers in red light district in the city. This is the darkest side of the otherwise, a very progressive and enthusiastic city, that thousands of young girls are forced into prostitution by organised human trafficking syndicates.
Still today, a large number of teenage girls are being brought to Mumbai and being sold to brothel owners. These girls are lured by the false promises of good jobs and livelihood, or they are deceived by their lovers or husbands, who are actually pimps or their agents, working in red light districts of Mumbai. These men visit remote and poor villages of India in search of their victims.
Recent study shows that pimps disguised as youths working in the city’s sex trade, visit the poor villages on the pretext of looking for brides. They lure the poor fathers of teenage girls with the offer of ‘No Dowry Marriage’. Some even offer to bear expenses of marriage which makes it an undeniable situation for the poor fathers to reject such a proposal citing so much problems being faced by villagers in the form of Dowry and Marriage expenses.
But as they bring the unfortunate and ignorant wife to the city, they sell the bride into the hands of a brothel-keeper, whoever offers the fake husband the maximum price.
This sex trade is thriving and demand for teenage girls, as in the past, is still very high. Young and teenage girls fetch hefty prices in the sex market, therefore exploitation of young and teenage girls is on the rise.
Despite the so called strict legislation, human trafficking in the city is still supply-line of girls to the local sex trade markets. Many teenagers and young girls are kept in brothels forcefully. They are tortured, gang-raped, kept hungry, ill-treated, till they submit to the wishes of the brothel owners and resume to solicit customers.
Human trafficking for sex trade is a well organised crime. A recent study claimed that there are a large number of children and teenagers, being forced into prostitution.
According to that report, there may be 40% teenagers and children between the age of 10 to 14 years, who are sex workers in these red light districts.
In-spite of all the Glamour & Glory Mumbai has achieved over the years, this is no hidden fact that such menace of Human Trafficking and prostitution rackets are going on a large scale in the city under the nose of the authorities.
Rules are being broken, lives are being ruined, families are being hampered. It is high-time the authorities start taking stricter action to clean-up the mess of human trafficking and prevent the ruining of lives for such teenagers.