Sonagachi is India’s biggest sex workers area. Sonagachi area have around hundreds of multistoried brothels and an expected 11,000 sex labourers. Sonagachi is situated in North Kolkata close to the crossing point of Chittaranjan Avenue and Shobhabazar with Beadon Street, around one kilometer north of Kolkata’s Marble Palace zone.
History of Sonagachi
The entrancing story is followed by Kolkata’s “shoeless antiquarian”, PT Nair, in his A History of Calcutta’s lanes. During the beginning of the city, the zone was the lair of an infamous Muslim dacoit by the name of Sanaullah, who lived here with his mom. On his passing, the lamenting lady is said to have heard a voice originating from their cottage, saying, “Mother, don’t cry. I have turned into a Gazi”, thus the legend of “Sona Gazi” started. Individuals rushed to the cabin by the thousands to be restored of different infirmities or with petitions for a superior life. Sanaullah’s mom composes Nair, manufactured a huge and excellent mosque in memory of her child, which came to be known as the mosque of Sona Gazi. Tragically, after her passing, the mosque fell into neglect and in the end vanished out and out. This mosque gave the neighbouring Masjid Bari Street its name, while Sanaullah Gazi transformed into Sonagachi.
The Arabic word gazi or ghazi, initially, essentially implied warrior. Be that as it may, after the introduction of the Prophet and the spread of Islam, it was utilized particularly to mean a religious warrior who aided in the spread of Islam. In Volume II of History of Bengal altered by Sir Jadunath Sirkar, are records of these warrior holy people to whom poor Muslim families would claim, for the most part against a zamindar or a nearby boss who was oppressing them. The gazi would then attack the region of the culpable chieftain, and if there should be an occurrence of triumph, either drive him to change over to Islam or get him to ensure that his Muslim subjects would not be aggrieved. On account of Sanaullah Ghazi, the change of a dacoit into a warrior holy person may appear to be bizarre, however it is absolutely not extraordinary. A considerable lot of Bengal’s Hindu dacoits are known to have been admirers of the Goddess Kali, and a few such “Dakatey Kali” sanctuaries still endure, even inside Kolkata. A large number of the dacoits are additionally said to have been Robin Hood-like figures and were prominent with the majority.
Shockingly, the early history of Sonagachi isn’t well-recorded. There is no clear method to tell how or precisely when it transformed into a seedy area of town. Writer Gautam Basu Mullick, who has been looking into and expounding on the city for over three decades, focuses to a situation that consistently lead to an ascent in prostitution. Sonagachi remains on the old explorer street, which is currently Rabindra Sarani. The area of Chitpur is additionally encompassed by a few huge markets; organizations here ran even before the appearance of the British, because of the Portuguese, Armenians and others. Mullick says, that wherever which draws in an enormous number of explorers or voyagers, or, is a noteworthy business focus, will undoubtedly have a red-light region on its edges.
The houses of ill-repute of Sonagachi, at a certain point, were said to be claimed by noticeable Bengali families. Today, ladies gaze out from the galleries of weather beaten chateaus with intriguing names like “Prem Kutir”. The tight, rodent invaded paths of Sonagachi are presently home to somewhere in the range of 11,000 sex laborers. The dargah of Sanaullah Ghazi still endures, albeit like numerous different mosques and sanctuaries in the city, it has experienced subjective “remodel”.
Remaining on Durga Charan Mitra Street, just a couple of meters from the intersection with Rabindra Sarani, it is anything but difficult to spot. A tablet on the outside mass of the dargah contains the names of the Prophet, his girl Fatimah, her significant other Ali and their two children, Hassan and Husayn. Together, these five names structure the Panjtan, the individuals most essential to Shia Islam, which would demonstrate this is a Shia sanctum. Sadly, the time of Sanaullah’s demise isn’t referenced anyplace. Yet at the same time, the dargah stays dynamic, in a seedy area of town, nearby to the metropolitan abattoir. As I stroll around pondering where to get the best photo from, I am addressed by a pimp, “Babu, need a decent Nepali young lady?”. I shake my head, and beat a hurried retreat.
Today, a few NGOs and government associations work here for the counteractive action of explicitly transmitted maladies (STD) including AIDS. The book Guilty Without Trial by the originators of the NGO Sanlaap based quite a bit of their examination into human dealing in India on this region.
The Sonagachi venture is a sex labourers’ helpful that works in the zone and enable sex labourers to demand condom use and to face misuse. Keep running by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee It was established by general wellbeing researcher Smarajit Jana in 1992 however is currently to a great extent kept running by the whores themselves. While some are acknowledging DMSC for keeping a moderately low pace of HIV disease among whores in Sonagachi—5.17% of the 13,000 whores in Sonagachi are assessed to be HIV positive — this HIV rate is in truth the same than the normal HIV rate for female whores in India, which is evaluated to be 5.1% (The HIV contamination rate among whores just as among the overall public shifts generally by locale in India.)
As per a few sources, whores from Sonagachi who test HIV positive are not told about the outcomes, and live with the ailment without thinking about it “in light of the fact that the DMSC is stressed that HIV positive ladies will be ostracized.”Some whores in Sonagachi have expressed that “the customers, at any rate, seventy-five per cent of them” decline to utilize condoms and “on the off chance that we drive them to utilize the condom, they will simply go nearby. There are such a large number of ladies working here, and at last, everybody is set up to work without assurance because of a paranoid fear of losing an exchange.”
Other than the Sonagachi venture, (DMSC) additionally runs a few comparative activities in West Bengal, sorting out about 65,000 whores and their youngsters. The association campaigns for the acknowledgement of sex labourers’ privileges and full legitimization, run proficiency and professional projects and gives microloans. The DMSC facilitated India’s first national show of sex labourers on 14 November 1997 in Kolkata, titled ‘Sex Work is Real Work: We Demand Workers Rights’.The book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide reports examinations uncovering that, in spite of expressed strategy, the DMSC permits sex subjugation, dealing, and underage young ladies in Sonagachi venture massage parlours.
I would rather suggest you not go over there, but still if you want to go there, don’t take too much cash, costly mobile phone and precious ornaments.