I, Susan Wilson – An Enthusiast , Independent documentary maker – works to the Socio-economic status of girl and women in Indian subcontinent.
Today, I would like to share an Excerpt from an Interview of infamous brothel teenager – Sahida(Changed name),
in famous redlight area of Kolkatta.
Internet is flooded with numerous documentaries/ Tapes/ Reports/ Incidence/ Porn from the brothel. I can surely says that the quote ‘Ignorance is bliss’ really holds good for those who aren’t aware about the dark reality of these ‘sex-worker’.
With very hard ways, I could able to get the local help who has contact inside. Generally the agents and brothel owner don’t allow any foreigner, journalist (or) anyone who capture videos or want to make films. They say – ‘It is against the law of their work’
But Deepu – My local help, manage to strike a deal which pave the way for my access for 11000 INR. Of course, I was advised to keep the identity hidden.
I agreed and in span of 4 hours witness the harsh reality of the business deals with masuline below the belt.
Interviewed 5 sex worker, and most striking and worth mentioning was of “Sahida”. We sat in a small balcony , she cover her face with scalf , we arranged a appropriate translator and we get along.
Here it goes :- ( Whole conversation was translated by Interpreter, at both ends)
Q) How old are you ?
Q) For how long you have been working here ?
— With low and clumsy voice she replied, I was 17 when I first came here
Q) So you were here before you actually turn adult age of 18 ?
Q) Have you ever been to school (or) wish to study?
— No, we never had money to think about education.
Q) How many people you have in you family
— I had 3 sisters, and grandparents
Q) 3 Sisters and Grandparents ? What about your parents ?
— She didn’t answer this question
For this I look at my guide , who answer on her behalf ‘ Mam, her parent expired, when she was 4, she never heard of them , and never saw them,
I drink some water and moved ahead on questions.
Q) What about your other 2 sisters, do you meet them often?
— No, 2 year back they were separated from me, and was transported to other brothel, but in different cities.
Q) You have any idea of them?
— No, here we can’t keep connect to our family member, we have been sold out. but only clue I had is , my younger sister was abandoned and beaten badly when she tries to escape.
Q) How you get to know about it ?
— She refuse to let me know about her source
Q) Ok fine, what you mean by when you say ‘ you have been sold out’
— (After few seconds , she explains) ,
My grandfather sold me to Village landlord for 3000 rupees, he needs the money to drink. He beats up my grandmother almost every day, who used to work in employment scheme launched by the government, and what ever money she used to bring, he snactch it away and expense on his drink. There was crisis of money, due to limit employment opportunities so he sold me to Landlord.
Q) So you have been working as house help in his house ?
— No, He spent 5 nights with me, I was sold for his sexual pleasure. On 4th day, few of his friends visits the house. He asked me to make tea for them. After serving, I came to kitchen to clean utensils. One of his friend came from behind grabs me and start kissing all around. I was raped one by one by all 4 of them. Next day, I was sent to his friends house.
Q) What about your elder sister?
— She used to work in other people house, but few days later, local boy married her on the promise to provide her the shelter and gives basic needs of life. but ultimately she met with same fate as I do.
Q) OK.. So what happen to you next after the 5th day.
— I was sent to his friends house. He spend a night with me. I heard him calling his friends over the call. Basically they were earning money,I was just a material to be used among friends and host get the bigger share and then pass it on to next. But I ran from there in the evening, before his friends could arrive.
After running couple of miles, I stop near a bus stand. I see cycle arriving. I waved for help. I see my Grandfather on it. I try to escape , but he hold my hand. He assures that he will not repeat the mistake and ask me to come home.
I believe him, my grandmother at home was not well and lying on cot. It is my duty to help her and take care of her. I stayed. She recovers fast.
Q) What happens next ?
— One night I heard some noise outside the door, My grandparents were arguing on something, I can’t listen it properly. All I could hear was ‘Vidhayak ka Kotha’ Somewhere down my mind, I was sure that they are arguing about me. Next Morning, 2 Strong built Man in Sumo, and put me in. Before leaving, One of them handover currency bundle to my grandfather.
Q) What about your grandmother, didn’t she say anything?
— No, She was agreed to it, I know not heart fully, but yes.
Q) So, your grandfather sold you again, for higher amount and to bigger agent ??
— yes, this place is run by many mafia ruler. I was finally brought here.
Q) Did you see anytime your Grandfather visits this place ?
— No, He died in 2012. Just 2 year later after I came here. He sold me twice.
Q) Did you try to escape from here (or) thought about it?
— No, It is now daily routine, cruelty runs over me again and again, and now nothing matters. We wish or we don’t , I am not the only one here. Every one has some or other story. Probably more bitters, more cruelty stricken, more heart touching. But who visit here as guest, they don’t have any story. They throw money for pleasure. For them it start from point to frustration at home, office (or) marriage and ends up in pleasure.
A night here gives them pleasure , sense of relief. But for us, it was starts with pain and ends with pain. We have many more such nights to come. Probably never ending vicious circle.
Q) What about police ? Why don’t they help you?
— (Laughs) , Police ? Madam, they are also humans. They get the liberty to choose anyone at discounted rate by agents. At the end , they are also man. For normal customer, we are prepaid. but for Police wala sometimes free.
Q) You know, although you have covered your face and your Identity is hidden but all these interviews can brings changes, once they get released and reach to the people who can make a difference. So do you have anything to say before we finish?
I asked Deepu to explain this point to her, so that she convey anything she wish
— Madam, I don’t know what may happen or not. But any efforts by anyone , won’t bring any changes to our life.
We are place below the humans, probably dog over the street has right to choose what it can eat or drink, he is breathing fresh air, But we, You know madam, we don’t even ask customer name.
Door closed, pulls off pants, put protection, deed done, door open. Exit.NEXT . Please don’t do anything for us. It is impossible. If you really want to do something Please make sure, next time when Door opens, it don’t close.
It is open for our freedom, our basic right of existence, our right of being recognized as humans again. Life is very short and time is ticking fast for us. Man who come here, should know they also have a girl at home , who could be another Sabina and when this thought is struck in their mind, probably they won’t come here.
Probably this demand and supply routine dies its natural death. Probably no demand, leads to no supply. Then it lead to better tomorrow, better me, and many like me….
After the interview, I had tears in my eyes. It was most difficult 25 minutes of my life. A girl, who has been sold twice by his grandfather, ends up in Brothel with no way out. Who has never seen her parents, lives with deep regret and worry about her sisters. Probably she even can’t see them up again. They all separated without knowing where fate
could land them up.
Grandfather, who died after 2 years, leaving her behind the darkness, she can never surpass. A grief which she wears all the time.
I wish there must come a day, when man who goes down there meet her own daughter. This situation is the only apt reply to the wrong deeds prevailing. Until it boils down to us, we all remain calm and composed. Thank God, It’s not me. Thank God, I escaped. Numerous thanks to God , which we convey everyday for not being the part of the tragedy, grief, accident, torture.
We Thanks whole heart to God to keep us blessed, healthy, fit, stomach full four dimentional progress – financially, socially, physically and mentally. And after thanking him , we goes down to rule the downtrodden, keep them at toes
Financially, mentally, socially and physically.
I wish I see better future, if not, then better society. Society, where anyone’s pain is thing to concern. Where All for one Where All stand for wrong, work to make it better and never settle till it is eliminated.
Reader, Please propagate the message of peace, Equal right and most Importantly – “Being Oneself in All”.