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Kamathipura: Wikis


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Location of Kamathipura
in Mumbai and India
Coordinates 18°58′N 72°49′E / 18.96°N 72.82°E / 18.96; 72.82
Country  India
State Maharashtra
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

4 m (13 ft)
A lane in Kamathipura

Kamathipura (also spelled Kamthipura) (Marathi: कामाठीपुरा) is Mumbai's oldest and Asia's largest red-light district. The area was set up by the British for their troops, which acted as their official "comfort zone". This small region boasted the most exotic consorts. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number women and girls from continental Europe and Japan were trafficked into Kamathipura, where they worked as prostitutes servicing both British soldiers and local Indian men.[1][2] When the British left India, the Indian sex workers took over. In recent decades, large numbers of Nepalese women and girls have also been trafficked into the district as sex workers.[3]

Today, it is said that there are so many brothels in the area, that there is no space for the sex workers to sit in. They hang around in the streets, solicit customers and then rent an available bed.

The late Mr. Linganna Puttal Pujari (1915–1999), who migrated to Mumbai from Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh in the year 1928, a prominent social worker and city and state legislator, was largely responsible for most of the civic amenities available to the residents of Kamathipura today.

Some historical sources point out that the origin of slums, subsequently the red-light areas of Mumbai (previously Bombay) including Kamathipura is related to land acquisition, from the indigenous locals who were evicted from their farmlands and cattle-fields and forced themselves to live in congested conditions, for the development of the industrial harbor city. At the early stages, people accumulated in the new slums partly depended on constructions contracts. But later, as men became unemployed due to lack of job, more and more women turned up selling themselves in the red-streets of the town for livelihood. Now these streets are just playgrounds for human traffickers and mafia in addition to the economic refugees who came to these areas during the past years.

See also


  1. ^ Tambe, Ashwini (2005), "The Elusive Ingénue: A Transnational Feminist Analysis of European Prostitution in Colonial Bombay", Gender & Society 19: 160–79  
  2. ^ Fischer-Tiné, Harald (2003), "'White women degrading themselves to the lowest depths': European networks of prostitution and colonial anxieties in British India and Ceylon ca. 1880–1914", Indian Economic Social History Review 40: 163–190 [175 & 181], doi:10.1177/001946460304000202  
  3. ^ Selling of Innocents _ Part I – Film by Ruchira Gupta at YouTube (requires Adobe Flash)

External links

Coordinates: 18°57′50″N 72°49′35″E / 18.96389°N 72.82639°E / 18.96389; 72.82639

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