Prostitution on rise in R'than: Women's panel

Prostitution has flourished in Rajasthan with the growth of tourism and industrial sector in the state, says Laad Kumari Jain, Chairperson of the Rajasthan State Commission for Women.

Jain said apart from traditional flesh trade, male prostitution was also growing at a fast pace at tourist centres like Pushkar, Jaisalmer and Bharatpur.

“We have been visiting red-light areas and interacting with the sex workers for the last several weeks. I found that prostitution has flourished in Rajasthan with the growth of tourism, textile sectors, illegal mining and other industries.

We were surprised to discover that male prostitution is also emerging at several tourist places,” said Laad Kumari Jain.

“We will prepare a detailed report on the plight of sex workers and will submit it to the state government and government of India,” she added.

The commission has demanded that the sex workers not to be treated as criminals but be considered victims.

“They are not criminals but they are forced into this trade. Agents take advantage of their penury conditions and government has never extended any support to them,” Jain said.

“I personally met thousands of sex workers in the past few months and none was interested to pursue this trade. But they have no alternative,” Jain added.

Amendments should be made in Prevention of Illegal Trafficking Act (PITA) in India and the agents should be prosecuted, she said.

The members said girls from Rajasthan were being sent to other states and to Gulf countries. The girls were either kidnapped or sent to other places by agents under the pretext of lucrative jobs.

“We were shocked to learn that girls from Bharatpur and Alwar are being sent to Gulf countries for prostitution, Jain said.

“The traditional communities of sex workers are known for their dancing, which has been a source of earning for them. The agents offer them dance coaching at big cities and girls eventually land into prostitution,” said Jain.

The members blamed that despite anti-trafficking units in each district, police do not take any concrete action.

The state commission also objected to the suggestions of the National Commission for Women on legalising prostitution. It said such statements are absurd and the National Commission must take the opinion of all state commissions, NGOs and women right activists.

A write petition on rehabilitation of sex workers was earlier filed in the Supreme Court following which the court has asked the National Commission to give its opinion.

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