Sonagachi, Asia’s largest Red Light Area where more than 10,000 sex workers works, was said to be owned by Dwarakanath Tagore who started brothel business with some local zamindars. Today in this article we will tell you some very interesting facts about Sonagachi.
- Customs and beliefs related to Prostitutes
Durga Pooja is the main festival in West Bengal where Sonagachi lies, There was a custom that the soil used to make statue of Durga Maa should come from a prostitute’s house because according to their believes the soil is purest of all.
- First Cooperative society of $<X workers who won a prestigious award.
Usha Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited is the first Co-operative Society formed by Sex Workers in 1995 after a battle with the system in which people without moral character could not form a registered organization but after winning its fight, Usha became one of the biggest successful stories in this co-operative society and latterly In 2014, Usha won the prestigious award for the best run cooperative society in West Bengal with its turnover of around 29 crores and 29,000 workers working under it, from which 48% of the loan was taken for children’s education.
- Reduction in the cases of AIDS.
Financial backing is provided by Usha contribute to the reduction of HIV infection. Their dependence on immediate cash became negligible because of the services like saving and loans which Usha is providing. According to a report of NACO in 2015-16, It stated that HIV prevalence is 2.2 percent among $<X workers but other studies found that the range is different cities is between 2 to 35 percent.
- Baabu Culture
There are many clients of a prostitute, but some of them became regular, to which prostitutes get attached emotionally too, and they call them Baabu. It is common that a prostitute refuse to have $<X without condom but many times, when their Baabu force them to have $<X without protection, they forcefully accept that because of their love for them which increases their risk of being HIV positive because those baabu have $<X with more than one woman.