India’s prostitution villages | DW Documentary

Sex work is a way of life for thousands of women in marginalized communities in certain parts of rural India. For many, it is the only way to make money – also due to the Indian caste system and centuries-old prejudices which make it difficult for the families to escape poverty. But winds of change are blowing.

In certain Indian villages, sex work is, in a sense, inherited. Mothers and grandmothers have already worked in the same trade. In the past, they mostly belonged to ethnic groups that worked mainly as performers. The British colonial power criminalized them, and to this day it is especially difficult for the men of these ethnic groups to find regular jobs. Therefore, the female members of the family are often the breadwinners. They are the ones who take out loans, build houses, make important decisions, which is otherwise rare in India. Our reporters Akanksha Saxena and Neerat Kaur looked around the villages – and found signs of hope: The young generation is trying to leave this sad tradition behind and fight for better education and rights.

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