The narrow alleys of Manipur have lately become the hub of the sex trade and a recent study conducted by a local non-government organization (NGO) has brought that into the light. It is being found in the study that the dark and old motels based in Paona Bazaar in Imphal are turning into the den of liquor and flesh trade.
In fact, not only the Paona Bazaar, as the nearby Thangal Bazaar and North AOC areas too have shown a steady growth of sex trade in the recent years. The local NGO Meitei Leimarel Sinnai Sang (MLSS) have lightened up many hidden facts about the female sex workers of the state and the reasons behind them opting for this particular means of livelihood.
The project director of MLSS, S Inaocha said that a survey conducted till August has registered 915 female sex workers (FSW) in the state capital as against 908 last year. However, although this is the official data and shows an increase of only seven sex workers in the figures, in reality, the real figures are much more.
Inaocha, while speaking to the media, said, “The actual figure is far more than what we have recorded as many FSWs were reluctant to reveal their true identities. Even the ones who have registered themselves with MLSS had to be persuaded several times.” Adding more about the reasons behind these female sex workers opting for this mode of earning for livelihood, she said, “Behind every case of FSW, there exists a tragic individual history. They were either forced into the profession by their near ones or had to take it up to feed their families.”
Every female sex worker has her own tale to tell when being asked about their reasons for being in this line. One of the sex workers said that the daily wage she was earning by selling vegetables regularly was much less in comparison to what she makes now in the flesh business. Another sex worker says that she was being tricked and trapped into this business, but she was never willing to be in it.
The sex workers, however, do not get to earn the whole amount that they earn by satisfying their customers as there are the pimps and brokers who snatch away a good chunk of the collections.