Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ulhasnagar and Banaskatha - the great Indian Human markets

No matter how much you love shopping, here are two 'unique' Bazaars in India that you will wish had never existed: Ulhasnagar near Mumbai and Banskatha in Gujarat. And what is so unique about them? Its the goods that they sell: humans

I was born near Ulhasnagar - a township barely 2 and half hours from Mumbai, en route Pune. I knew that Ulhasnagar had a very dubious distinction of being the piracy hub of India. There was a thriving market for selling pirated copies of illegal - and horrible - versions of any electronic 'foreign' goods. But this week I was surprised to learn that Ulhasnagar also has a thriving market for selling human babies. Exposed by Mid-day, a tabloid published from Mumbai, the baby bazaar apparently sells stolen new born babies at INR 100,000 - 300,000. After the report was published, Fauziya Khan, minister of state, women and child welfare, said, "We will carry out an investigation on this issue. After a proper investigation, we will take action."

I think the question that the investigators should begin with is 'where do the babies come from?' The root of the rot has to be there!

Now, while the Ulhasnagar's baby bazaar might see a good intervention and hopefully a closure, a market for adolescent  girls and women in Wadia village in Banskatha district of Gujarat has been continuing smoothly, without any 'disturbance'. In this community run market  men, brothers and fathers of girls pimp for their own sisters and daughters, marketing them to truckers and men from neighboring villages. And this isn't an issue for any politician or opinion leaders
who otherwise cry buckets over communal tension or suppression of democracy by the state's right-wing chief minister Narendra Modi

However, a few small NGOs are trying to intervene by advocating safe sex as dozens of women are reportedly HIV positive. And one of these NGOs - Vicharti Jaati Samuday Samarthan Manch, is also trying to close the bazaar by arranging marriage for some village girls. In Wadia, a girl hasn't been married off for years, as men from outside refuse to marry them for being sex sellers.  "Once the girls start families elsewhere, it would prompt more girls to think out of the trade," says an activist of the manch. 

So,there might be hopes around the corner. Until then, however, the great ugly Indian bodyshop is doomed to continue!

You can also read prostitution in the name of tradition, my blog on similar trend in Uttar Pradesh

1 comment:

Richi Rajpal said...

R u sure that such things do happen in #UlhasNagar ?? Thats my hometonw..