Rajasthan State Women's Commission chairperson Lad Kumari Jain has raised raised concern over increasing sex tourism in Rajasthan. She also spoke out against legalising prostitution, saying that it would only promote a mafia.
"Along with tourism, sex tourism is also rise in Rajasthan. This is growing along with increasing industrialisation, textile and marble business and illegal mining. In districts Jaisalmer and Pushkar, minor girls of Rajasthan are supplied to foreign tourists. Big hotels are into this business to attract customers," she said.
Addressing newspersons she said sex workers should be looked upon as a 'victim' and not as a 'criminal' or culprit. There is a need for positive amendments in the existing law, where strict action could be taken against the middlemen instead of the sex workers.
"Prostitution is flourishing in Rajasthan due to community based tradition, where women and girls are pushed forcefully in sex trade. For years, these communities have made it as their means of income," said Jain.
Jain informed that woman commission members during their visits to red light areas interacted with family members, where parents of the girls (sex workers) told that they are provided money in advance for three to four months, and girls are sent to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jabalpur, Gurgaon and even to Gulf countries.
"If prostitution is legalized then it will have more negative effects. Often minor girls are been kidnapped, raped. In the name of marriage girls are purchased and sold. Legalizing will not only increase girls sexually exploitation but and these things will be done openly," she said.
She suggested that there is dire need of opening residential schools for children of these families so that they do not ruin their future by getting raised in the same atmosphere generation after generation.
Jain appreciated that a committee of the Supreme Court would put up a proposal on legalising prostitution for the national discussion on Saturday. She said that prior issuing any statement in favour or against legalising prostitution, chairpersons of all woman commissions and members, social workers and civil society organisations working on this issue should be called for discussions.