Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Man and Woman, Pipli Village, Rajasthan, India, November 4, 2009

In this small collection of homes, some of the girls have been released from a future of prostitution for the time being. They attend government schools and have displayed promise over the past four years. Unlike the other villages of prostitution, some of the families in Pipli seem to have adopted a different life.

Time will tell. As these girls turn sixteen, our hope is that the pressure to join the older women in the flesh trade is limited, giving way to a different path. This is made even more difficult in light of the fact that the esteem of the sex workers is higher than that of the housewives, the latter given the responsibilities of cleaning, cooking and so forth for all of the members of the family, including the women forced to work as prostitutes.

While surely nobody will argue that the life of a sex worker is desirable, to some of these girls, seeing the sex workers walking around dressed beautifully, gaining the attention of strangers, has an effect on their youthful eyes, especially when they see their aunts or mothers toiling away making bread or cleaning excrement, both human and animal.

We cannot assume to place ourselves in their sandals. We can only hope that those sandals are at least given a choice, a real choice.

The man and woman above are from Pipli, where the majority of men and women are pimps and prostitutes respectively. Leaving their identities and work descriptions a mystery, let us hope that they are wonderful examples for their youth, in charge of families that have chosen otherwise for their children.

To learn more about this important work, one may visit the following websites, where the prints are also for sale to benefit the various foundations.

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