Sonagachi – the largest red light area of West Bengal and its prostitutes

Sonagachi and prostitutes are anonymous to each other. This article is on Sonagachi, Sonagachi prostitutes and many more information about Sonagachi.
Sonagachi is the largest red light area of India. From the evening this area wakes up for oldest industry of the world, flesh trade. Sonagachi is located in North Kolkata of West Bengal and it is very easy to reach Sonagachi from any part of Kolkata and its surrounding area.
Sonagachi is the working area of more than 10,000 prostitutes, number of pimps and veteran prostitutes, called massi. Many of the prostitutes in Sonagachi are coming from boarder area districts of West Bengal, other parts of India like North India and even from other countries like Bangladesh and Nepal.
There are number of multi storied buildings in Sonagachi red light area with different attractive names like Neel Kamal, prem kamal, prem bandhan, ganga jamuna, night lovers etc. Prostitutes in these buildings are comparatively expensive. Normally each building has 3 – 4 floors and there are number of rooms in each floor. Normally it is found that on upper floors fair looking young girls in Sonagachi are available. Clients can visit the floors also before booking any prostitutes. Most of these buildings are overcrowded with pimps. Mostly North Indians girls can be found in these buildings.  Bengali prostitutes in Sonagachi can be found in “Nanda ranir bari”. During evening time all the buildings, lanes and by-lanes of Sonagachi become overcrowded with pimps, prostitutes and customers.
Sonagachi can be reached easily through Metro services. It is located between Girish Park and Sobha Bazar metro stations. One can get down at Girish Park and then can walk towards Sobha Bazar. From Park Street one can reach Sonagachi by taxi. If anybody is embarrassed to mention Songachi to the taxi driver, he can simply go to Sobha Bazar metro station and the famous red light area Sonagachi is very near to the metro station. Pimps will be found roaming here and there.

From where these prostitutes are coming in Sonagachi red light area

Kolkata is the hub of trafficking girls from different states and even from Nepal, Bangladesh and Burma. Many of them are from rural villages with a hope of job in city and the pimp who assures them of job in city sells them to different brothels. These poor girls are even sold to Grant Road, a brothel in Mumbai, Delhi or even to the Middle East. Again prostitutes in Sonagachi red light area come from different other brothels of the country. There is a tremendous network among the different red light areas of the country. The most dangerous point is that many underage girls are found in Sonagachi who are in this trade.
Many minor girls are kidnapped from their area and sold to massi or madam of the brothel. Naturally these girls do not agree to become a prostitute and at this point physical torture starts. These poor girls are beaten mercilessly and ultimately the kidnapped girls become prostitutes.
Poverty and illiteracy are the main reasons behind converting a girl into a prostitute. Head of the family sometimes accept false promises of work or marriage and this acceptance lands his daughter in a brothel. There are many cases where a rescued girl had to go back to the profession of prostitutes due to social harassment on the family. This harassment takes place if the villagers come to know that the girl was in brothel.
Again 2nd or 3rd generation prostitutes can be found in Sonagachi red light area.

AIDS and Sonagachi Prostitutes

So far as AIDS is concerned, India is in the second position. Many sex workers in Sonagachi are AIDS affected. Government has taken many precautions to prevent AIDS from spreading. The initial campaign of “Buladi” was successful but it needs more drive to fight against the dreaded disease. In many cases, the prostitutes are not aware of AIDS. Again many clients prefer to have sex without condom. If the prostitutes in Sonagachi force their clients to use condom, there is a chance that she may loose her clients.
Percentage of AIDS infected sex workers in West Bengal has decreased in 2011 as compared to previous years.  Dr. Jana, principal of Sonagachi Research & Training Institute and chief advisor of Durbar said on 2 September 2011 that less than three per cent of all sex workers in West Bengal live with HIV/AIDS.

Soil of Sonagachi and Durga Puja

It’s a Hindu ritual to use soil from prostitute’s house in making Durga idols. The prostitutes have no respect in the society, they are rejected by our society. Most of the people do not consider them as human beings, they are simply utilized for sexual enjoyment but it is considered inauspicious to worship the Goddess Durga without seeking the blessings of prostitutes. It has become a custom of collecting a handful of soil-punya mati or blessed soil from the front door step of prostitute’s house. This blessed soil is used to the clay mixture in making the idol.
Every year idol makers and Brahmins go to Sonagachi to collect soil from the door step of prostitutes houses. There are many explanations why doorstep dust of sex worker’s house is needed to make Durga idol.


Related Posts:


Changrabandha – a red-light area in Cooch Behar district of North Bengal

Dinbazar – a red-light area of Jalpaiguri


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