Trade or Tradition?

Since ages, the brothels have prospered. Be it in the form of dancers in Rajah’s time, or the ‘Kothas’ in the 19th century, women trafficking in the slave system or the trend of call girls today. Women have always been sacrificed at the altar. This evil has grown not only upon the mighty and wealthy, but has also spread its branches in small villages as well. 200 kilometers from Delhi, Alwar district of Rajasthan houses an intense and widespread network of prostitution since as long as 1947. If not for the case of abducted young girls in the neighboring towns and villages it might not have been chanced upon for yet many years to come.

Is it not ironic that we have always cried out for the cause of girl child? We have always wanted that they should be loved, cared for and well fed? And when it is actually happening in the villages of Sodavas and Girvas of Alwar district, it is all for the demonic reasons. The Bedia and Nutt communities there have traded girls since generations. All the abducted girls, even as small as few months old, are raised there as well as their own and even better, only to be sent away to brothels or the gulf countries. Is it not similar to feeding an innocent lamb before beheading it for a sacrificial ceremony? Hardly does the lamb know that its happy days are short-lived.

And as if this was not enough. Impatience has always been in human nature, to wish for quicker results. These small girls are injected with Oxytocin injections on a regular basis to attain premature puberty. These injections, popularly known as “Goli no. 10”, are the same ones as used for cattle to increase their lactation and are available for even less than a rupee in cattle less region as theirs. It induces the feelings of love, care, bonding and a craving for sex in these infants and makes them grow at an immense rate, such that a 10 year old looks 16 and is ready to be sold off in the roaring market of prostitution. And then it is time for the next batch of girls to be reared and the cycle continues.

In a country like ours, where the sex ratio of women is declining at such an alarming rate, it is no wonder that these communities are doing well. This tradition of theirs has fetched them all houses, air conditioners and dish antennas, in all a very comfortable life but at what expense? To rear and sold away our own daughters? Is it what our religion has taught us? Where we have always worshipped women, and still women have suffered so many atrocities at our own hands? Where we claim to be the first to give women their voting rights, we have snatched away their civic rights at the same time? Where we are the only people who call our country as our “motherland”, we have sold off our mothers and sisters to feed our own hunger? A soulless, sightless and a selfish monster is that what we have become? It is high time for us to stop being callous and start respecting our own kin. Girls have long lost their rights to mankind, but now is the time to restore them. We have to start digging around and wash away our own dirt to root out this evil and awaken in a fresh morning where we shall all be happy and where we shall all be respected. That is how life should be and that is how it shall be. I believe.

Rachayeta Singla