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Should sex industry be legalised in India?
Prostitution can be defined as a profession in which a person i.e. woman or man make sexual relationships in exchange of money. It is also defined as the sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for commercial purposes or for consideration in money or in any other kind, according to a website Gangothri.org.

It is a fact that majority of the population engaged in the prostitution are not into this willingly but due to some helplessness. However, there are also some people who have made prostitution as their profession because they want an easy way to earn money, and to enjoy a luxurious life. And when they see the business as profitable as any other business, they try to indulge more people including their dear and near ones also into to make it big.

According to the legal provisions prostitution is not a criminal offense in India, but soliciting prostitution and prostitution in any public place are illegal, but most of us are still unaware of it. This is because law on prostitution in India is vague and ambiguous.

But, the problem arises when one forcefully makes someone to do this against their will. In India there are about 1000 red light areas, and more than 500 hidden markets where girls are sold. In every 30 minute a girl is trafficked, kidnapped or forced to come to this line. Many girls are forced to enter the sex trade between the age of 9 to 13 years, and once gone many of them cannot come back to their home again, because girls from such places are considered to be out cast in Indian society.

Ruchira Gupta, founder of Apne Aap Women Worldwide- a grassroot organization in India working towards ending sex trafficking said, “Prostitution is not illegal in India, raids are conducted inside the brutal houses to rescue children below the age of 18. The people who are all asking for legalization of prostitution are actually asking for legalization of pimping and brutal keeping, brutal ownership etc. so, basically they are asking for the legalisation of sex industry.”
 
She also added, “Sex industry should be punished as it is a part of a rape system. Traffickers should be punished, pimps should be punished, brutal managers should be punished because they are buying and selling women, and making a profit out of it.”
 
We also spoke to Durbar Mahila Samanvaya Committe (DMSC), in Kolkata, which works to enhance an objective to establish, promote and strengthen the rights, dignity, social status, and improvement of the quality of life of all sex worker communities to know their views.

Smarajit Jana, Chief adviser of DMSC and All India Network of Sex Workers said, “We are supporting the decriminalisation of sex laws, we support the sex laws to be considered like any other work, as it is a livelihood option for more than 3 million women in our country, and they support their family with this business. It is a sort of entertainment work, and the sex workers provides sex to them as a service.”

On human trafficking, which is a major problem in prostitution Jana said, “Trafficking arises, where the things are un-regularized and where things goes under the carpet. It gives the scope to mafias, attraction of police and traffickers to exploit things. If their is proper legislation and regulation, then the trafficking will reduce to zero.”
 
Smarajit Jana feels that the basic problem with the society is that, they see an occupation as a moral condition, and not as a livelihood option.

“In our history, sex workers were legalized. There was a government policy to support and to protect sex workers. In Hindu culture sex workers were respected.”

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Around forty million people are living with HIV throughout the world – of which anything between four and six million people in India are living with this dreaded disease. It is now said India has the highest number of AIDS affected people. MONDAY (DECEMBER 1) was World AIDS Day. Around forty million people are living with HIV throughout the world – of which anything between four and six million people in India are living with this dreaded disease. It is now said India has the highest number of AIDS affected people, a claim the government vigorously refutes as ‘completely inaccurate’, which is only creating panic. Whether or not the figures are wrong, there is no denying that HIV/AIDS has assumed the status of an epidemic in India and it’s time the government took stern steps to control this epidemic. . Prostitution is legal (with some restrictions it isn’t that bad) in Canada, most all of Europe including England, France, Wales, Denmark, etc., most of South America, including most of Mexico (often in special zones), Israel (Tel Aviv is known as the brothel capital of the world), Australia and many other countries. In India, too, we should legalise prostitution, as prostitutes are known to spread AIDS. . The HIV/AIDS infected prostitutes should not be given license to operate after legalisation of prostitution and they as well as their families may be paid unemployment dole to carry on with their lives. The amount of the unemployment dole may be recovered from the clients by levying a tax on visiting a prostitute like in the case of Australia and Greece. Every client that visits a prostitute should have to first get a certificate from an authorised doctor that he is free from HIV/AIDS.. Those indulging in bi-sexuality are also likely to spread HIV/AIDS and thus, it is better to legalise homosexuality too, like in England. Homosexual prostitutes should also be allowed to indulge only if they have a license. Those found infected with HIV/AIDS should not be given the license. Their clients should also carry a license from an authorised doctor to the effect that they are HIV/AIDS free.. Besides, a second line of treatment should be provided free of cost to HIV/AIDS patients so that they could live longer, general public should also be educated in the matter and encouraged to treat patients with kindness and the government should invest more money in educating people on the threat of HIV/AIDS. And of course, the population of the country needs to be controlled to stem the mass exodus of villagers to cities. Away from their families, they are more likely to go to prostitutes. Some of the recommendations may be hard to implement but then the government would have to take these so-called extreme steps to control HIV/AIDS in India, sooner or later and perhaps even need to introduce a law that parents expecting a child should undergo AIDS test and if they are infected with AIDS/HIV, there should be a law preventing them from giving birth as it will only ruin the life of the child.
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