Call girls fight for client on road, Gujarat becomes hub of sex trade

callAmazingly, Gujarat “branded” as most developed states in India is indeed so much stricken by poverty that sex trade has become a major source of income in various cities of the state. There are even entire villages which thrive on sex trade. This become evident when two sex workers were caught on camera fighting to customers on a road at Ahmedabad in broad daylight on Sunday. They fought for over half an hour during this period, spectators kept snapping their photographs and shooting videos. No one intervened till the fight was over.

Even religious destinations marred by increasing sex trade

Known as “village of sex workers,” Wadia village in in Tharad taluka in Banaskantha district of north Gujarat, close to Rajasthan border, is famous for flesh trade on an enormous scale, since over last 80 years. Here, men search for customers for the women of their families and also negotiate the rates between Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.

The small village is inhabited by a nomadic tribe called Saraniyas, where girls are groomed to become prostitutes at an early age and boys are trained to become pimps to find clients for them.

However, nearby villages are against this tradition. Several education drives could not change the mindset of these people.

tradethousand sex workers in a town of 12,000. Serpentine queues outside brothels. Sixty thousand condoms distributed by NGOs every day. Sex tourism is becoming the bane of Gujarat’s most revered religious destination, Ambaji. Many of the millions who visit Ambaji every year now are drawn by sex more than religion.

The reason why Ambaji has become a sex den is an age-old one: poverty. Local tribals of the sleepy town in the foothills of the Aravalli have taken to prostitution for as little as Rs 50 per “encounter”. They mostly belong to ethnic tribes from Datar, Poshina and Khedbrahma.

Take a stroll down any street and a local kid will lead you to a pimp. The pimp will negotiate charges and provide a place and protection from the local police. He will tell you there’s no danger from the local police as they are part of the chain.

Business is roaring. Local activist Ambaji Ramesh Patel says some women claim to have had more than a hundred “encounters” during the peak season of Bhadarva mela. While the local commercial sex workers charge between Rs 50 and Rs 250, others who have come in from Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Surat and Ahmedabad, and operate out of hotels, pocket as much as Rs 5,000 per meeting.

Their customers, apart from religious tourists, include migrant labourers from the surrounding 42 coalmines and marble quarries as well as moneyed diamond merchants from Palanpur. “Some of the melas held here have nothing to do with religion,” says Patel.

Pimp Shivaram Dungaisa has been in the business for a while. His wife Meena says, “We are a family of 25. The men don’t earn enough to feed us all. We have to do this to survive.”

Seventeen-year-old Rupa has been in the trade for over a year now. “My stepfather sold me and my sister to a pimp in Udaipur. I ran away from there with the help of another pimp and came to Ambaji a year back. The melas are quite exciting, I like it here,” says the young girl, who is proud to have earned Rs 3000 over a two-month period.

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