Hyderabad: Twenty-four-year-old Sneha (name changed) from West Godavari was caught by the police for the first time during a raid in a private apartment in Banjara Hills.
Sneha had started as an event dancer in 2011, but soon got into the flesh trade after she met an agent in Hyderabad as she could earn enough money and take care of her family of extremely ill parents and three young sisters. After the sex racket was busted, she was sent to a rescue home in the city for four months, but she hated it. She always thought about running away, and resume her earlier life.
“Life in that home was like a jail. There were 35 other sex workers caught by the police, and none of us were allowed to go outside. During the stay, I could never sleep properly or eat well. They tried to teach me skills that would help me get some work. But how will you feed a family stitching dresses and making jute bags?” asked Sneha, who resumed prostitution after she was released from the rescue home three months ago.
Several inmates in the rescue homes, who were lodged under the Ujwala scheme after police busted sex rackets, tend to go back to their profession.
Three women have escaped from the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust at Hydershakote in the last seven months. A police probe in the 2013 Ramanthapur Ujwala Rescue Home case had unearthed that 21 women lodged in the home had escaped from there with the help of their pimps on the night of April 19 that year. The sex workers lodged in these homes are forced to stay there by the court, but there are no effective measures in these homes that would reform their lives.
Officials say that courts order the women to be lodged at rescue homes for two to four months but that is not enough to reform them. “Some women just can’t escape that life. They are obliged to the pimps and traffickers,” said an official from a women’s home.