Mission Network News - 6/10/2011India (MNN) -- It's not uncommon to
hear about prostitution in India. The country sadly has a thriving red
light district in which girls of all ages are exploited and sold.
India (MNN) -- It's not uncommon to hear about prostitution in India.
The country sadly has a thriving red light district in which girls of
all ages are exploited and sold.
But a look into a lesser-known sector of India's prostitution problem
might surprise you.
According to an International Mission Board report, poor slums are not
the only place to find prostitutes in India. Rather, Indian middle-
class has a disturbing supply of what are called "fly prostitutes."
Fly prostitutes are typically middle-class housewives and students who
sell their bodies to earn money to feed their children and pay the
rent. Some are widows, and some are not. All are desperate, and as one
woman testifies, "No one comes happily."
What would drive a woman into such a lifestyle? IMB says desperation.
One woman, Ajanta Gupta, was widowed while still in her early 20s. She
had HIV, two small children, and no job.
When a friend introduced Gupta to prostitution, she accepted. It was a
quick way to earn cash and better income than another job she might
have picked up. The Indian Ministry of Labor and Employment reported
that a woman's daily wage for unskilled labor averages $1.25--three-
fourths of a man's wage for equivalent work.
A woman's average wage is not nearly enough to support a family. And
Gupta had to feed her family. Her story is echoed by many other
Others fall into prostitution from a lack of self-worth when husbands
abuse them. Others have husbands with a second family, and they need
to supplement their income.
Whatever the reason for women in middle-class India to change their
lifestyle, IMB workers are seeking to bring them out of it to a better
life. Two Indian pastors met with Gupta several months ago to better
understand how to minister to people with HIV/AIDS. When Gupta
revealed her profession to them, the conversation changed.
The pastors shared the Gospel with Gupta, and a small group of
believers began meeting regularly in her home. Gupta's mother and
sister also attended the meetings. Within a few weeks, Gupta and her
mother both prayed to receive Christ.
Gupta is now working as a teacher's assistant at a small preschool,
and a local church supplements her salary. She boldly tells her
friends about her relationship with Christ and urges them to leave
prostitution as well. More and more women are leaving prostitution and
fleeing to Christ as a result of the weekly small groups and Gupta's
Many of the fly prostitutes Gupta and IMB workers have spoken to
remain unconvinced. Many hearts have been hardened as a result of a
life of being treated as worthless. Pray that these women would come
to know the Lord and would trust Him to provide life to the full.
Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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