In NCS's Second General convention brother Salon Karthak informed how some Nepali girls are forced into prostitution in the brothels. He also informed that around forty girls want to be free from this "occupation" but who will initiate to go and serve them in this pitiful situation? When I heard this for the first time from his deep and challenging voice I felt that "I would go if I get an opportunity"
On 8th March, International Womens day, Christian Women Society organized a
spiritual meeting in Putali Sadak Church. That day we invited many
Christian women leader to share something about their responsibilities
(present works). Mrs. Bimala Thapa shared about her visit to Red Light
Areas in Mumbai and she told that once again she is going but she is need
of two more ladies to accompany with her. Hearing this I realized that God
has opened a door for me to serve among those sisters who are sold in
brothels. After that she got down from the pulpit and came to sit beside
me. I told my desire to accompany her to Mombai and on hearing this she was
very happy and welcomed me.
The date of departure was fixed for on 29th March, and yes we departed on
the scheduled date. Many questions were inside my mind and I was making
different picture of Red Light Area. As a gentleman was with us on our side
we could not talk much about our mission during our flying time.
At the Airport two sisters (Yanki and Thulididi) from AG Church Boudha,
have came to welcome us. We introduced each other and we made our way
towards the destination. On our way Yanki told that five sisters are
staying with her and she told us that they are feeling nervous by our
arrival. These sisters are thinking that we may feel?? with them and hate
them because of their occupation, She requested us not to ask them any
personnel question. Gradually they will tell their stories themselves when
they start trusting you.
When we reached the apartment the door was opend for us. All the girls were
watching T.V, and all of them ran away into their rooms. Miss Yanki
introduced us to a beautiful girl named Ruth. I was very much surprised by
her name. I thought that girls living in that apartment are all same and I
questioned myself a Christian sister was brought to the brothel or she just
changed her name? I was anxious. After sometime Yanki called all the girls
and introduced to all. Some time later I came to know that Ruth was a
volunteer lady from Boudha Church. I was shocked with myself for my
foolishness. I was not able to say "Sorry" to Ruth at that time but I want
to ask for an apology today.
Next day we three (Yanki, Bimala and me) headed towards Kamadipur Red Light
area. I was very much hesitant either we will be allowed to enter the gate
or not. What if somebody catches us or if they do not allow us to come
back, these fear were catching my mind and heart as well as I was anxious too.
After about one and half hour train ride we got off in the area called
Church gate and took taxi towards our destination. This area was bounded by
metal wire and tins that reminded me of a Vietnamese refugee camp in Hong
Kong. Yanki informed that it is the biggest Red Light area. I was very much
surprised because this place was just like a simple residential area.
In this area I saw long and three/ four storied buildings. We were not
allowed to enter the top floor (4th floor) of this house. According to the
Madams the top floor has beautiful, new, teenagers, educated and rich girls
who has been brought here direct from school and colleges by kidnapping.
The price for them is more than Rs.1000 for once i.e. for 15/20 minutes.
They were also taken to standard hotels by cars according to the demand of
customer. Even though this top floor is very clean but the girls and
customers are under a security of Mafia and gay people, so it is very
difficult to get through. It is very frightful to learn that even female
policewomen were captured and kept inside when she went to raid this area.
Three class of brothels:
Cages: The top floor where young and beautiful girls from standard family
were kept and only rich and regular customer are only allowed to enter. The
girls in this floor are from 12/ 13 years to 16/ 17 years of age.
Bungalows: Clean and big room with one T.V set. Other rooms are found
around it each with one bed and fan and wooden door. Separate toilet
facilities was there and for once they used to charge Rs. 300 to Rs. 500.
These sisters were beautiful and also well behaved. Initially there were
50/60 girls in this bungalow (20-24 yr. old) but some ran away, some died
due to different STD (sexually transmitted disease) and some were
transformed to other red light area named Bhibandi and only 25 were left.
Out of these remaining, six girls are new believers and they go to church
in Nagpada every Saturday for fellowship.
The girls in these two categories have a very luxurious life. The only work
they do is to sleep with customer but the other works such as cooking food,
washing clothes etc. were done for them by others who previously worked
there as a prostitute, who have become old and ugly now. These women were
not allowed to go anywhere else.
Rooms (kothi): Usually this is an area on the passageway of bungalows.
Women who have already spent 5/6 years in brothels and are not willing to
go back to their home are found standing on the door with cheap make-ups
and bright clothes and also wearing fake gold ornaments. They are seen with
very appealing clothes. These women are found either in a group or single
giving some kind of signals to a customer. They are also seen around taxi
stand, pan shop, medical shops, tea house and telephone booths waiting for
a customer in a hot day. Precisely I can say that they are found in all
kind of shops. The price for them ranges between Rs. 50 to Rs.120. If any
Arabs or Punjabis come and take them out to hotel or other place like
Banglore, Goa for whole night they have to Rs. 500 as an advance to Madam
for a night. If the customer is happy with them they may also be rewarded
with tips(extra money) with which girls make gold ornaments.
These girls have to cook for themselves turn by turn but for dinner they
usually bring from outside. They sleep up to 11-12 o'clock in the morning
because the business start from 2/3PM to 2 AM next day so they sleep a long
hours in the morning.
This is a scene described from Kamadipur Red Light Area but there are other
areas that are:
Pilhouse - New Mumbai
Soorat - Fork Line
In my 41 days stay in Mumbai I was able to visit Kamadipur 5/6 times, Fork
line and Pilhouse 3/ 4 times and Bhiyandi once.
Fork line and Pilhouse: This is an old street, which is dirty. There are
7/8 rooms in one flat and 50/60 women were accommodated. They are dark and
fat women. They are found to be staying in verandas and stairs speaking
dirty languages. They were from Karnataka in South India. They worship and
pray Goddess Kali and knew how to play magic. They are very frightful to
see and when we reached near them they spoke the languages which could not
be understood. It was good that I didn't understood. This area is seen to
be dominated by old women. 2/4 Tamang sisters were there but most of all
were Kannadese but all are old aged women. "its been two years there is no
any new girls and it is difficult to sustain life" says Nepalese sisters,
there is no business for them because of their old age. From here also few
(9/10) ladies goes to Nagpada Church for fellowship.
Bhiyandi is a place where I even felt uneasy to drink water due to its
dirtiness. This area is away from east of Santacruz, which takes 2hrs drive
in a private vehicle and about 4/5 hrs by train or bus. As few sisters from
here also goes to church so pastor Debraj and we three went to visit them.
This place is a piece of hell itself. Old houses with 4-5 thousands
prostitutes among them 1000-1200 are said to be Nepali girls. Every
passageways are surrounded by dust, drainage carrying dirty water and was
as dirty as dumping site. Thousands of flies were seen swarming and with
every step they would come dashingly towards the faces. Every where dirt
and drainage carrying dirty water and are blocked with dirt in some parts,
above that pink condoms were thrown over these dirty water and were
scattered everywhere on the roads too. Except one Sunar girl, all girls are
Tamang. So most of them speak Tamang language. Beside them there were other
dark Kannadies ladies which dominated this place. It was really frightening
to see those Kannadies doing their spiritual rituals. They are dressed up
as others with cheap make-ups, flowers on their heads, which are made up of
plastics and clothes. This is one different character than other that is
found in this place. It is very ridiculous to see the Kannadese doing their
worship by hitting a kind of small drum, taking out their tongs very long
and jumping around.
In one corner two Nepali Tamangs were quarreling for an Indian customer. He
nearly threw a big stone at one Tamang girl. They were spitting vulgar and
obscene words in Hindi and Tamang. As Pastor Debraj was with us this
situation was very embarrassing one but I remembered a verse of the bible
that said "to work with such people means to hang oneself many times on
cross and taking up a cross and move"
Here 12/13 sisters are believers. After two hours long fellowship and
prayer was done. During prayer time I found that 2-3 sisters were crying
and some even fell down. Seeing these events I began to think does Holy
Spirit who is very holy, clean really present in such a dirty place as
brothels? I was thinking about them who pray, cry, fall down in front of
God and again does the same work (prostitution) but that is the way life
goes there. I was not able to understand this mysterious work of God with
this small knowledge. After the fellowship the sisters asked to pray for
them in their rooms too. We went to three more other places and prayed.
Next place was a small and as believer sisters were there we moved around
every streets. We saw many people here who were openly indulging with women
without any shame and we met a Nepali man too. After we told him that we
too are Nepali, came here for social work he was afraid and immediately got
off a bed.
This is a place, where we were called for worship, and was very hot and
without any windows, two small fans were there. We were altogether 19 and
small three children adjusted in three small single beds and on floor. The
place was smelly, drainage was full of dirty water and flies were flying
everywhere. In front of the house was a small pan shop from where a loud
Hindi music was playing. Nepalese and Kanndese women were roaming around
the place not caring for the bright and hot sun. In one corner was a small
outlet which we thought was a place for washing dishes but later on we
understood that is a place for passing out urine (toilet). We were offered
coke to drink that was swallowing with great difficulties. Later on the
house owner who is a believer herself took out a set of plates and began to
wash them in that same toilet. I immediately understood that they are
offering us something to eat. I was already sick by thinking of eating
something here. All those filth around "oh! my gosh!! to eat at the same
place, same time!! it was difficult for me, I was about to vomit when I was
just thinking of a food. And I pass a comment about food to Ps. Debraj.
That sister took out rice and meat from under the bed and began to
distribute it to us. I prayed that "God please save me from vomiting and
diahherea" Nobody had interested to eat food. One staff spoke out that
"Christ had sacrificed once but we have to sacrifice many times"
This hospital is situated at 15 minutes taxi ride from center Mumbai or
Church gate. Among many hospitals of Mumbai we visited only this hospital
during my 41 days stay with the staff at Bombay Teen Challenge. Within our
visit Nepalese girls were found to be infected seriously with HIV/AIDS and
among them 5 died immediately. Anju from Darjeeling was struggling heavily
between life and death.
Nisha Gurung, Chameli Gurung, Sarada Tamang and other two who did not
wanted to disclose their names died there. During my stay in Mumbai me and
other sister got chance to roam around many places turn wise. I was able to
visit Badalapur area also where fatherless children were born from
brothels; street children and girls were kept along with drug addicts. This
house was named "Asha Home"(house of hope) where 25 boys and 42 girls were
kept. But most pitiful conditions were found in G.T hospital. I even asked
God why such suffering is taking place?
When I saw those very young people of aged between 18/26 years struggling
as street dogs, I was very much disappointed. I asked with God for a
justice of those people who brought these innocent young girls who knew
nothing about a brothel. They should be punished for their ill deeds and
prayed to God to show miracles seeing these girls struggling, I wished that
God would come soon.
In the beginning of my visit to the hospital I went near Chameli, Yanki
near Sarada and Bimala near Anju to take care of them. After sometime I
asked Chameli: "sister what happened? what is happening to you?" She said
that she had a very bad cough and headache, again I asked her about how
long have she been here, she said its been five years. I wanted to know
more about her and asked her how did she came here? But she turned other
side and remains silent. After sometime I told her that no matter what we
are good or bad but God is there who always loves us. As I said God,
Chameli immediately responded quickly "Don't talk about God here. God is a
big cheater, as he is a cheater all men are cheater what have I done to God
or His fellow people so I am punished this way in a strange land? Have I
done something bad to God that I am here? She was very angry with me and
again said "Don't tell me about your God, now you go?. go! then she again
coughed very heavily pressing her chest - a bowl was under her bed for
which I helped her, as she was helpless, she accepted my help. After one
week again we visited the hospital. Chameli was half decreased - very thin.
We gave fruits to Anju. Nisha was able to eat nothing and Sarada was
asleep. One sister was already dead. We gave oranges to Chameli. She was
facing towards the wall and was unable to speak. I placed hand on her head.
Her head had a burning fever and I gave her the cold bandage. But cold
hanky soon became hot again. I never came across such headache in my life.
I moved her towards me. Her lips were dry and full of wounds. She was so
sick that she was unable to close her mouth. I peel off an orange and
forcefully let her eat. I washed her face and rubbed it. I asked her
whether somebody comes to see or not.
"Sometimes my house owner comes" she said. Then I slowly told her about
the love of God, sin and salvation in Christ and finally requested to come
to prayer. She accepted my proposal, I placed my hands over her head and
prayed. We returned from there after sometimes.
After two days, Yanki, Bimala and myself revisited that place. As Sarada
became very sick she was given leave by the hospital. As her house owner
did not wanted to keep her she was given a train ticket and was sent back
to Nepal. It was very bitter news for us. May be she died on the train on
the way home. Nisha was also sent home as she too was miserably sick and
was in her final stage. Anju asked for biscuits so we gave her that.
Chameli was unable to eat biscuits. Fever was on the same height;
continuous vomiting was there. On hearing our voice, she opened her eyes
and requested us to take her to our country if she would be all right. I
again preached her about the gospel. I told her that this body would one
day surely die but for the sake of spirit she should be able to believe in
God (Christ). Then she accepted God. Then we told her that we are taking
Anju with us. Hearing this Chameli cried "Anju came here much later than me
but she's cured. Will I be able to be cured? She asked crying. She was so
much grieved that I felt like crying too. She requested us to come back and
visit her in future too.
I came back to Nepal bringing four sisters with me, I told Chameli that I
would be back and visit her after two months. Later Bimala phoned her house
and I got the news that Chameli and Nisha died. This is a sad story of
those who are sold in the brothels. It is very difficult and sad to write
about them. There are around 72 thousand Nepalese women/ girls working in
Mumbai brothels and among them 25% includes the Tamangs. In Kamadipur even
those Kannadese were seen speaking Tamang language.
Interviews with some sister: (life story)
Renu Adhikari who hails from Narayanghat told that she was sold by her made
brother who placed "Bhai Tika" (in Hindu tradition girls put "tika" to
their brothers, this is a sign of close relationship of brother and sister)
from her for three years. He was a college student and she was studying in
9th grade. He requested her to come to campus to watch a programme and she
accepted the invitation happily. When returning back, in Hetauda she was
offered a juice to drink. After drinking a juice she became unconscious.
After 2/3 days she knew that she was sold in a brothel. At that time she
was just 15 years and now she is twenty.
One Tamang girl told that her mother sent her when she was just 10 years old.
Mamata from Bhairahwa has been sold for 40 thousand Rupees by a person who
told her that he would marry her when she will be 14 years of age.
Reshma came from Solukhumbu to Katmandu to learn garment. Her teachers' boy
friend told them to go to Hetuda to travel and both were sold.
Asha told that she was forcefully taken by two Muslims from a film hall.
Poonam who always used to quarrel with her 2 years old sister was sold in
25 thousand by her own sister.
Shova told that a friend of her mother in law told her to go to Katmandu to
work and her own son took her to Gorakpur from where she was taken by
another unknown person.
Shanti became very much sick. Her sister came from Arab and took her to
Mumbai for treatment but later she knew that her sister was also into it
and so she put her also.
Kiran Tamang who told she is from Sikking says "in my opinion all men are
dogs, who needs women and wine" Men even bring their wives' gold and
clothes to girls who have become their puppet.
All sister thinks that policemen, house owners, officers working in
boarders and those who bring them there are nothing more than an astray
dogs who needs nothing more than money. They are not human but wild animals.
3 years ago police raided a brothel and 127 sisters were taken. They were
kept in jail for 6/7 months and they were handed over to shelter and from
there they were again given to Nepalese organization. But some are seen
back in Mumbai. One sister who has 5-yr. old daughter is seen in Bombay
Teen Challenge. She told "why to go Nepal? What is left there for us? When
we go there, every body would look at us with negative eyes. All would only
talk about Mumbai brothels. So, instead of staying in such a society I came
back here where no one would care about other".
Police people of Hamuman Dhoka also misbehaved them. They used to tell them
that "were we not here for you and that you have to go to Bombay"? We
didn't came here with our interest but we have been cheated, given
medicine, made us senseless but they always think of us as if we came here
from our own wish.
The women explained a painful event that used to occur in the beginning.
The owner (madam) used to bit with big flat sticks if they refused to do
what she orders but finally we have to obey her for sake of living. "I got
a chance to go to Nepal once but all look upon us negatively" said one
sister. They would understand this only if their daughters and sister would
be sold. She told about the NGOs of Nepal.
In those brothel strange things that are very fright full happens everyday.
One day four sisters told us a terrifying story. They told us: one-day
police raided one of the houses of Kannadi madam, they stripped off her
clothes and demonstrated her through out the red light area. Later on they
came to know that the Kannadi owner (madam) used to worship Kali and pray
her. She had 20/21 Nepalese and 5/6 Indian girls in her brothel. While in
the process of Puja, she used to get into complete ecstasy and completely
drunk with alcohol then she used to kill one of a woman and drink her
blood. Not only that she used to cook the meat and distribute it to others.
She used to wrap legs and other parts in a sack and used to tell a boy to
throw it somewhere. That boy was paid for his deeds. But most of the times
when he asked for money she didn't give him. So, once when he was ordered
to throw away the body parts he hid these parts under a bridge and went
back to ask for money. This time too he was not given money instead he was
also attempted to be killed so he fled and told everything to police. So
the incident took place.
In this way different kinds of dangers always roam around here for all.
In this place if a sister is sold and she has to work as long as her money
is not fully refused, if one is sold for RS 50 thousand she has to work
there till she would be able
to gain 50 thousand for the owner. If she is able to pay it back within 2
years then she is free. She can stay there and work but she should do that
for 50% basis. Beside she herself had to pay for food, electricity, water,
room rent etc. But within this period of time that she's able to payback
the money she most probably would be infected by HIV/AIDS.
If house owner is not happy with her then she can be sold to other brothel
and same cycle would be continued, If she get some RS. from customers than
that also would be snatched by owner and manger. Some customers give them
money if they feel pity on them.
House owner (Y¯¹ç´? Madame, owner of a brothel
Manager (¨ª?øk? Women who initially worked as a prostitute and later
works to mange everything between customer and the girls.
Work (???? to sleep with customer
Wash stomach (?øt ??U?ìå) Abortion
There is one 17-yr. old girl from Butwal who has already aborted child for
3 times at this tender age. To abort a child is very minor there in Mumbai.
But one sad fact is that they have to start their work from very next day.
They have complained that they have heavy uterus pain. One thing that they
have to sleep in the position in which the customer likes, if they do not
obey that they would beat them up and heavy wounds be there on their faces.
To invite the customer they have to stay outside and swing their hands. If
that is not done then they would have to get big thrashing from the
manager. If they would not obey may have to die by the beating of boyfriend
of Madam. They have a scar in which the boyfriend of madam have pierced
knife inside the woman organ and killed them. So they were very afraid and
obey what they tell. If they obey their elders they would get love and care
In Kamadipur I saw Tamang boys in tight Jeans, Leather jackets and half
gloves in this hot temperature of 38 to 40oC. I wished that they have died
inside the body of their mother and wished to spit on their faces. These
boys make the house owner their wife and live in their income. Beer,
cigarettes are their favorite pass time with bundles of cards. They should
be cursed for their deed. They spend the money, which they have earned by
selling their own sisters. Seeing this, nothing comes to the mind and heart
of women except the hatred for them.
Now its over 10 years that democracy has come to our country and in the
course of time Krishna Prasad Bhattarai is about to be a Prime Minister of
the country under Nepali Congress government. Mr. Bhattarai has promised
many nice things for Nepal. He has promised to make Katmandu Singapore and
would bring Melamchi water within 3 years but I request him to control the
Mafia, brokers and boarder police from the flesh trade of our sisters.
In Mumbai any Nepali girls with small eyes, long hairs and with sari and
kurta suruwal are considered to be a whore. Here Manisha and Anuradha
cannot alone protect those 72 thousand Nepali girls who are sold in Mumbai
and around 2 lakh in Calcutta, Delhi, Pune and Goha. Whoever girls/sisters
met in Mumbai, they say that there is a good relationship between Police,
Madam, Brokers and Mafia. Nepal and India police could do nothing as Madam
pays them heavy amount instead they ask some more with us.
So, the authorities (home ministry) should take immediate action and expose
those criminals of society and should be jailed for lifetime. Not only
that, they should restrict those areas such as Airport, Kakarvitta,
Gorakpur etc. so that it would control the flesh trade of our country.
Lots of information should be given to a villager and should be made aware
through providing documentaries and television. Especially Danwar, Kami,
Damai and Tamangs should be supervised throughout or again they could be
seen in Mumbai brothels and Nepal would soon be a pit of HIV/AIDS then who
would be responsible?
- Innocent sister?
- Culture & tradition?
- Poverty & illiterate?
WHO? WHO WOULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY?
Mrs. Esther (Laxmi) Thapa