Brothel made me PUKE!

It was the night of 16th August, 2008 around 1:30am when I was returning home after my annual college event that I saw adult sex workers lined up opposite my college in Juhu, Mumbai. As I walked ahead looking for transportation, I witnessed a horrific sight of middle-aged men paying and picking up child prostitutes. That spectacle disturbed and aggravated me but made me feel helpless at the same time. Back then, I was 17 years old, living a regular college student’s life but till date that moment haunts me.

After days of research and discussion with parents, I decided to volunteer for an NGO that helped children, young girls and women in prostitution. Our primary objective was not to rescue these people from the red light districts in liaison with the police force. Instead, it was providing them with child care, vocational education and training, corporate fund raising for running rehabilitation centers, organize health check-ups and most importantly, give them psychological counselling and emotional support.

It was my first day and I went on field to get an idea about the living conditions of these women in prostitution in Kamathipura – the hub of sex trafficking in Mumbai. The brothels looked exactly like they show in the movies, women draped in sarees with bright lipstick standing outside trying to seduce men and all ready for business. I entered one of the brothel rooms and there were about 5-6 beds each separated with a thin curtain. The children were studying under the bed while the women in prostitution serviced the men.

Their living conditions made me sick in the stomach. I moved on to interview one of the girls and she told me that the customers are usually blue-collared laborers, taxi and rickshaw drivers, businessmen and tourists. She gave me information that the pimp charges anywhere between Rs. 50 to Rs. 5000 depending on the duration, virginity of the girls and demands of the customer.

Then, she told me about one of the most horrific experiences of her life that left her emotionally traumatized and turned her into an alcohol and drug addict to escape from this harsh reality. There was an old customer, whose fantasies were to pee in her vagina, stub cigarettes buds on her inner thighs, choke and slap her during the act, refuse to use a condom and treat her in the most inhumane way possible.

I was angry, mortified and disgusted by the events of the day. I stepped out of the brothel, tears rolling down my eyes, heart pounding and started to PUKE.

I am no saint and I visited a brothel again years later for a different reason but that’s a story for another time.


  1. Proud of you Sunny for addressing such issues ��

  2. I hope more people come along and help rescue these women and children

    1. Absolutely. There are a lot of myths and biases surrounding this issue

  3. Quite horrible the life of these women are!

  4. sometimes it's really very difficult for the womens to live a normal happy life

  5. A lot of us don't know what exists out of our protected lives, thanks for shedding light on people not as fortunate :)


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