Indian Virgin Shack
(Bharatpur, India) The prostitution of young girls of the Bedia tribe continues but efforts are in progress to change the tradition.
Unfortunately this is not the only village where women earn the livelihood by flesh trade. India has many such villages. These villages have time and again been in news for their outrageous acts, where fathers sell their daughters or husbands pimp their wives.At best, I suspect it will take decades of outside involvement before there are any noticeable results in stemming the child prostitution trade.
Recently a mass wedding was organized in one such village (Vadia). Here - couples between the ages of 12 and 16 got engaged and eight girls got married to volunteer grooms! Many hailed the move but the long-term approach to encroach prostitution by marriage is not the solution. Giving them better work opportunities is.
Women who enter by choice, need to be made aware about the politics being played with the in the name of caste and religion. Awareness to various sexual diseases and the short-term lure of money needs to be created.
Zee TV with the help of their show Phir Subha Hogi has brought the problems of Bedia village to limelight. There is still a lot to be done to change the mindset of the tribe members. Making them quit what they think of as an age-old tradition is difficult. But will this change really happen or will the shackles keep on tightening and more adolescent girls keep this tradition alive?
Indian Virgin For Sale
[Previous 4/17/08 post]
(Bharatpur, India) A roadside cluster of young girls, heavily made-up and dressed beautifully, attract the attention of travelers in passing vehicles. The girls' maidenheads are offered for sale to the highest bidder.
Nita (pictured) is a pretty 13-year-old virgin who will follow her four sisters into the prostitution trade. One sister said Nita is particularly pretty and should command a high price. And Nita is willing, saying she doesn't like housework.
Nita's family is one of 59 who populate the roadside collection, all members of the Bedia tribe.
The Bedias are regarded as a 'warrior' caste, which initially took to prostitution, hunting and illicit brewing after suffering a series of military defeats in earlier times. It is said that to a member of the warrior caste, robbery or prostitution is preferable to manual labour.Deflowering virgins is a much sought-after commodity among middle-class businessmen and the price is high.[Note: Readers are cautioned not to confuse the Bedia tribe with the U.S. Congress since the Washingtonians, arguably quite adept at robbery and prostitution, have ceased to be recognized as a warrior caste.]
The normal rate is 100 rupees (£1.30) but a virgin is sold to the highest bidder for anything over 20,000 rupees. If she is very pretty, the community would hope to get up to 40,000 rupees. For this, the man can have access to the girl for as long as he likes - several hours, days, or even weeks. When he tires of her, there is a celebration.Unfortunately, once the girls are deflowered, they can no longer get married. It's of little concern, though, since the Bedia tribe has been sending girls into prostitution for at least a thousand years. There is no social stigma in what they do.
Because it is considered unlucky for a girl to keep the money from her first time, it is spent instead on an extravagant party. Jewellery is bought for her and for her relatives, goats are slaughtered and alcohol runs freely. There is dancing, and offerings are made to the gods.
Starting with British colonial rule and continuing today, the government has attempted to reform the tribe by educating the girls. So far, there has been scant success since the Bedias are secretive by nature and the tribe's prostitution is a family institution which brings in a lot of money.
Ominously, the Bedia secrecy has stalled government efforts to collect data regarding the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the tribe's estimated 3,000 members.
Also: Jawa Report