I want the viewer to feel they can understand these women and gain an insight into their lives, rather than presenting them with another generic set of sex pictures. She disowned me because she said I was already married. I have scars where I was beaten as a young girl in the brothel. I did it because I didn’t want my daughters to have the same life. I went back to Falkland Road so I could eat and live. When I was young, I used to see so many more clients and they paid me ten rupees. Maybe eight or nine of my clients every day are regulars.
Hajra is HIV positive and severely scarred after being set alight with a kerosene lamp. I used to refuse to sleep with the men, so they forced me. Then I met uncle Devraj, who works for Bombay Teen Challenge. Now I only see ten or 15, and they pay me 300 or 400 rupees. I will not see clients who are drunk or abusive or on drugs.
Woo is a dating and matchmaking app, which focuses only on well educated professionals.
She is also generous, strong, determined and has an amazing sense of humour. Like most teenagers, Jyoti loves music and make-up. They raped me, beat me and burned me with cigarettes. But after about three years he changed, and started beating me and my daughters. But when I get a foreigner – American or British – they pay me 1000 rupees and they take me to a hotel. They are from all walks of life: family men, business men.
She would like to be a policewoman so that she can help women like her sister and mother, but she did not finish her education. When I was younger I used to see 30 or 40 clients every day. After one month a man came who paid 20,000 rupees to take me out of the brothel. I don’t tell any of them I’m HIV positive, otherwise I wouldn’t get any work at all. I pay 50 rupees per day for my [room] in the brothel.
Sex workers continue to live in squalid conditions, isolated from the rest of society – trapped in a life of poverty and often slavery, from which, for many, there is no escape. But when I got to Victoria Terminus train station I met a girl who promised to get me a job in Bombay. We have a family room and no-one has sex in the family room. The eldest is about to go to America to study missionary work, sponsored by Bombay Teen Challenge.
• Hajra Shah "When I was 13 I came to Bombay, to Faulkland Road. The other sex workers are like a family, we help each other. My youngest is studying so she can become an air hostess.
That being said, considering the basic mind-set of the tier 2 and tier 3 audiences, many a dating apps in the nation have chosen to be called relationships app, wherein their ulterior motive is to help people find the love of their lives, rather than just a casual date!
So let’s take a look at a specially compiled list that encompasses the top 15 dating apps & sites in India.
After getting to know some of the women I wanted to make my project more personal, to tell their stories as a sister, a mother, a daughter – as a woman, not just a sex worker. I would earn 2,000 or 3,000 rupees a day, and I had to give it to my husband. He was very jealous and accused me of giving the money to another man if I did not earn any money that day. He threatened to send her to the brothels too when she started to grow up. I fought with him but he poured a lamp over me and set me on fire [she points to another scar on her stomach].
I have been working on images that portray intimacy, femininity and tenderness as well as showing the often-brutal reality of life within the brothels. I had to jump into the mud in the lane from the balcony to put the fire out. Eventually I stood up to him and I reported him to the police. He worked for [the NGO] SAI, which is how I know about it. But he died from AIDS about four or five years ago, and now I am HIV positive from him.
They feel empowered, with a new-found sense of self-respect as well as respect within the community.
It has given some of them a reason to live, a purpose.
In south Mumbai’s red light districts there are an estimated 100,000 brothel-based sex workers. A high proportion of the women and girls have been sold into sex work, often by a relative or a trusted family friend; others are born into it.