Saturday, July 18, 2009

Girl, Nat and Kanjar Communities, Rajasthan, India

The teacher asks her and her sisters what they would like to do when they grow up. Their answers vary, from teachers to police officers to doctors. One thing is certain, none of them say that they want to become prostitutes, like their mothers and aunts and sisters before them.

She, like her sisters and cousins, belong to the Nat and Kanjar Communities. These small collections of homes house a trade in sex that supplies girls to the brothels in the larger cities as well as the demand for sex overseas.

"Of the estimated 9,000,000 prostitutes working in India, some 30% or 2,700,000 are children." (ECPAT International, A Step Forward, 1999)

"Every day, about 200 girls and women in India enter prostitution, 80% of them against their will." (The Devadasi Tradition and Prostitution", Times of India, 4 December 1997)

"In Bombay, children as young as 9 are bought for up to 60,000 rupees, or US$2,000, at auctions" by "men who believe sleeping with a virgin cures gonorrhea and syphilis." (Robert I. Freidman, "India’s Shame" The Nation, 8 April 1996)

"Men who believe that AIDS and other STDs can be cured by having sex with a virgin, are forcing young girls into the sex industry; seven year old girls are neither uncommon nor the youngest."

(Tim McGirk "Nepal's Lost Daughters, 'India's soiled goods,"Nepal/India News, 27 January 1997)

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