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on the third floor of the building resembles a family living room.
In that room are her four sons, aged between 5 and 17, studying, playing, and watching TV, insulated from the harsh reality of prostitution.
As if they have internalized this as part of their existence.
Two slightly younger women also wait for customers in her kotha.
Their work and lives are at the bottom of everyone’s concern, but they are still tied to Garstin Bastion Road—commonly known as GB Road—Delhi’s biggest red light area, which lies at the center of a busy commercial corner of the capital.
Estimated by local NGOs at almost 4,000 in number, women live here in 100 , or brothel centers.
The dilapidated buildings, dark and gloomy stairways with paint peeling off the walls, and their blank eyes tell a story of neglect and exploitation.
Despite efforts by some NGOs to intervene, it’s an exploitation that has continued almost unabated for hundreds of years. But now, with India’s general elections under way and political parties making big promises to most citizens, this community of sex workers carrying on at the margin of margins is seeking yet again to be heard.
As an old and a physically disabled man comes in, Tasleen leaves her sons and walks with him into a sort of cabin made of cardboard adjoining the room.
It is supposed to provide the semblance of privacy.
The walls are hardly soundproof and there is just enough space to fit a bed.