PLEASE READ this very moving report of child sex slavery in India. AND REMEMBER: Pornography fuels these horrific atrocities. So if someone is against brutal and life shattering child sex trafficking, they must also take a stand against pornography!
[The Guardian] — It was pitch black as I stumbled through the labyrinth of the dark corridors of a large brothel house in Kamathipura, Mumbai’s notorious red-light district. I’d been told to hide my camera under my scarf, not to speak and not to make eye contact with anyone. With my hand I felt the filthy walls dripping with condensation from the intense heat.
Eventually, guided by my Indian fixer, I came to a dimly lit door at the end of a corridor. Like a prison guard, an ageing madam came to the front of the brothel and unlocked the large padlock with her set of keys. I was taken into the reception area of the brothel, the space where the customers are taken to select a girl. In the ceiling I could see a small, open trap door. When the madam had disappeared, I climbed up a wooden ladder and pushed through the small gap.
Suddenly I was face to face with a “box cage”. I knew what I was looking at. The prostitutes had told me of the caged rooms and boxes they had been held in for months, even years, when they were first taken and trafficked to the red-light district. The madams would keep the girls like slaves in the cages until they were “broken”, to the extent that they would not try to run away. The girls told me they never knew if it was night or day. They were only taken out to eat or to be given to a customer for sex. For years I had wanted to photograph these cages, to prove that these places actually exist.
I was returning to Kamathipura 11 years after my first visit – ostensibly as an aid worker. In reality I was using the access I got to make a photographic and video record of a world that shouldn’t be allowed to exist. I did a lot of hiding in the back of brothels, trying to chronicle the lives of girls trafficked and tricked into sex slavery. Before 2002, when I first came to India to photograph children born into this vile industry, I knew nothing about trafficking. Those early days of visiting Kamathipura changed my life, and I’ve been unable to let this story go.
I was unable to let go because of girls such as Guddi. I first met Guddi while I was shooting on 14th Lane, in the heart of Kamathipura. I was sheltering from the intense summer heat in the charities clinic when Guddi came rushing through the door. She was distraught and crying after being beaten by one of the gangsters who run the district.
READ THE REST OF THIS POWERFUL STORY AT THE LINK BELOW: (And please don’t forget to like, comment and share to spread the word and support the cause. Thanks! )
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