Scores of rural Indian women are duped into prostitution while chasing a better life in the city, but a Bollywood film about a girl who willingly chooses the sex trade aims to challenge notions about these migrants.
Director Pradeep Sarkar's Laaga Chunari Mein Daag traces the journey of a young woman from a small town to Mumbai, where she becomes a high society prostitute to support her family.
The title loosely translates as The Stained Scarf -- an idiomatic phrase referring to the loss of a woman's virtue.
The film will also explore topics like migration and women as the sole breadwinner of a family, a concept that many Indians are yet to feel comfortable accepting.
"The film presents a strong woman from a middle class background who chooses to be in the (sex) profession and remain what she was to support her family," said Sarkar.
Poverty and lack of employment drives many Indians from small towns and villages to migrate to the big cities. Instances of women who are trapped into prostitution are also not uncommon.
"It is a realistic film about relationships and responsibilities," Sarkar said.
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag is the latest in what appears to be a movement within Bollywood, better known for its song-and-dance love stories, towards bold and mature themes. Analysts say the trend is being pushed by audiences who prefer films with content rather than a star cast.
The film, which has been co-produced by production company Yash Raj Films and Sarkar himself, is scheduled to open on October 12 this year.