A LAMP IN THE DARKNESS OF THE RED STREETS OF MUMBAI

A LAMP IN THE DARKNESS OF THE RED STREETS OF MUMBAI

This is a fall-out of a Christmas programme organised by the Marthoma Youth Fellowship (Yuvajana Sakyam) in the Red light area of Kamathipura, Mumbai, in 1994. In fact, the mothers in Kamathipura had requested us to start a Centre to take care of their children. In response, and fired up by compassion towards their plight, a few youth and volunteers motivated by Adv. P.A. Cyrus decided to start the Centre. With the blessing of Rt. Rev. Dr. Issac Mar Philoxenos, then Episcopa of the diocese of Mumbai, the centre was given a formal organizational set up. Currently, the Centre is a Registered Trust managed by an executive committee and presided by the Bishop of the diocese of Mumbai. Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan is its Patron and Rt. Rev. Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos Episcopa the President.
How many sex workers are there in Kamathipura?
It is approximately 20-30,000. Now, there is a slight change in their modus operandi. They are supplied from the brothel houses to the suburbs and outskirts of Mumbai.
Has the volume of tradeincreased over the years?
Yes, the number has increased mainly due to human trafficking. The women come from almost all the states of India especially Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The major reason for their plight is economic deprivation (food, shelter, and security), and the lack of education over generations, augmented by pervasive poverty. It makes them vulnerable to the exploitations of the sex trade. Some are trapped in it. They are dehumanised and marginalised at every step, either by outsiders or, as in most


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