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As ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ portrays the story of a sex worker, here’s a look at 5 biggest Red Light areas in India

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Alia Bhatt’s much-anticipated Gangubai Kathiawadi hit the theatres today. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film portrays the story of ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’, a woman who was sold to a brothel by her husband for 500 Rs. The movie is a cinematic experience into the life of Gangubai who had no choice but to embrace the ways of destiny and swing it in her favor. The biographical drama also stars Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz, and Padmaavat fame Jim Sarbh. The story revolves around Gangubai and Kamathipura, a famous Red Light area in the financial capital which she used to rule. 

So as the movie talks about a life of a sex worker and the Red Light areas, we take you to the 5 biggest Red Light areas prevailing in India across different cities. 

1. Sonagachi (Kolkata, West Bengal)

Sonagachi, which translates into ‘Golden Tree’ is often referred to as “Asia’s biggest Red Light Area”. Located in North Calcutta, the area is home to about 12,000 sex workers mainly from Nepal, North East India, and Bengal itself. The area is also home to a lot of notorious gangsters that are involved in this illegal business. Young girls up to the age of 15 are lured on the pretext of getting them the job and they are sold to the brothels. Sonagachi also has a wide range of sex workers categorized as per their beauty and age. Neel Kamal and Nanda Rani Bari are some of the premium brothels located in Sonagachi. 

2. G. B. Road (Delhi)

Shardanand Marg formerly known as GB Road (Garstin Bastion Road) is the second-largest Red Light area in India located in the National Capital. It is basically a road running from Ajmeri Gate to Lahori Gate in the Old Delhi area. It houses around 11,000 sex workers, only a thousand less than Kolkata’s Sonagachi. The area also has a lot of hardware and electronic shops around it and is famous among the visitors for the girls of Punjab. 

3. Kamathipura (Mumbai, Maharashtra)

If Calcutta and Delhi have Songachi and GB Road then financial capital Mumbai has Kamathipura. The area is very famous as during the 80s, it was often visited by Underworld dons like Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim. The area has a huge crime rate and has several small Beedi industries run by sex workers. Located in slum areas of Mumbai, Kamathipura was set up during the British Raj to provide a comfort zone for their soldiers. Over time, several NGOs are working there to provide welfare and healthcare services to sex workers. Gangubai Kathiawadi is based on life of Gangubai, a sex worker from Kamathipura.

4. Chaturbhujsthan (Muzaffarpur, Bihar)

Located in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, Chaturbhujsthan is one of the oldest Red Light areas in India. It is said that it existed from the Mughal Era. Chaturbhujsthan currently has around 3,500 sex workers. More than the sex, the area is famous for Mujra offered by the women there. The name of the area comes from a temple situated there. It is one of the biggest Red Light areas located in North Bihar. 

5. Budhwar Peth (Pune, Maharashtra)

Budhwarpeth located in Pune is one of the most famous Red Light areas in Pune that is considered to be the third-largest red light area in India. Budhwar Peth also has the  Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, the richest amongst all Ganesh Temples of India. The area has around 5000 sex workers and also has a wide range of electronic markets. 

It’s unfortunate that these things prevail in society but then it prevails under the eyes of Police, Institutions, and Government. 

Continue Reading on The India Saga.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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