Schmucks, we’re not talking here of those skimpily clad Bollywood things swaying their hips and thrusting their pelvis forward in one of those crude Hindi film dances.
We’re speaking here of a real life Indian heroine, not the reel-life Bollywood or Kollywood bimbos.
Given the rampant exploitation and injustice in India, we’ve often felt the country is a lost cause.
But some valiant people soldier on, trying to make a difference in the lives of the miserable.
A short while ago, on CNN’s Global Dispatch program we watched Christiane Amanpour interview Indian activist Ruchira Gupta, one of those brave soldiers.
For several years, Ruchira has been working hard to combat the growing problem of sex trafficking in India, particularly of young girls.
Here’s an excerpt of what Ruchira Gupta said in the CNN interview a few minutes ago:
I have never seen the deliberate exploitation of one human being by another as I saw in a brothel in Bombay when I walked into a little room, which was 4×4 and saw the 10-year-old and 12-year-olds sitting on the bed….and 10 or 15 customers a night, raped repeatedly every night.
India has an estimated 1.3 million child prostitutes, Ruchira said on CNN citing an Indian government report released in May this year.
If you believe, like we do, that the Indian government always deflates negative statistics then the real magnitude of child prostitution could be far severe than is believed.
It seems as the AIDS epidemic mushrooms in India, there is greater demand for young girls, sometimes as young as 10, in the belief they will be AIDS-free.
Ruchira Gupta made the valid point on CNN that demand for young girls is at the root of the problem and that authorities ought to crack down on buyers instead of going after the victims, in this case the young prostitutes:
Also, the main criminals I think are end-users, the buyers of prostituted sex, who want the little girls. And because of which, the traffickers and organized criminal networks see profit in it and they go into the villages to find these little girls, either in Eastern Europe or India. So the real criminals are those who create a demand for these little girls.
Ruchira Gupta, who has founded an organization called Apne Ap to address the sex trafficking crisis in India, is calling for buyers of prostituted sex to be punished more severely.
Interestingly, one of the obstacles Ruchira Gupta is running into in her lobbying efforts to get the Indian law changed to prevent punishment of the girls (the victims) are the AIDS management agencies who want the brothels to exist.
I have been facing this and they want to protect the buyers of prostituted sex from disease rather than protecting the women and girls from buyers.