Eight sex workers enter into wedlock

Banaskantha (Gujurat): Eight girls from Vadia which is infamous for being the `village of prostitutes`, tied the knot at a mass marriage event held here, paving the way for a social change in a place where flesh trade has been a tradition.

A dozen other girls from the same village were betrothed to prospective suitors at the gathering. For Sarania community, a denotified tribe (DNT), prostitution is not only tradition but also the only mean  for  living.

For Sarania women, flesh trade has been a norm for generations. For all women of the community, which has roots in Rajasthan, prostitution is a currency, while the male members act as pimps and bring clients to their wives and daughters.

"Eight girls got married in a traditional Gujarati wedding. While 12 others got engaged who will  get married afterwards in 1-2 years," said Mittal Patel, the coordinator of NGO Vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch (VSSM).

The social organisation has been working with Sarania community for over five years. It is for VSSM`s efforts that the mass-marriage has been possible in the village.

Marriage or engagement of a girl in this community means that she cannot be forced into flesh trade.