Prostitution In Ancient India

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Prostitute is a person who allows her body to be used for sexual activities for payment. So, prostitution is sale of sexual services like oral sex or sexual intercourse for compensation. It is one of the oldest professions of the world and has been there since time immemorial. In ancient India prostitutes were referred as Devadasis, who originally were celibate dancing girls used in temple ceremonies and for entertainment of upper class. Devadasi literally means God’s female servant (Dev+Dasi). Around 6th Century the practice of dedicating girls to Hindu gods developed into ritualized prostitution. In ancient India there was also the practice of having a Nagarvadhu (courtesan). There is mention of prostitution even in Vedas and Arthashasthra.
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Many devadasis are dedicated into prostitution for the goddess Yellamma.
• India has some of the world’s largest red light districts, with Sonagachi in Kolkata being Asia’s largest red light area.
• Some of the famous red light areas in the India are Kamathipura in Mumbai, Budhwar Peth in Pune, Meergunj in Allahabad, G.B Road in Delhi, Chaturbhujsthan in Muzaffarpur etc.
• Poverty remains one of the key factors for growing rate of prostitution in India. Other factors include ill treatment by parents, social and economic conditions, bad company, family prostitutes, greed to make easy money, desertion and failed marriage.
“Prostitution in society has not been an unknown phenomenon... The victims of the trap are the poor, illiterate and ill-informed sections of the society and are the target group in the flesh trade; rich communities exploit them and harvest at their despair and ignominy, in particular, with police nexus...” It was also said that “class of women is stuck as victims of circumstances, unfounded social sanctions, handicaps and coercive forms of flesh trade, optimised as ‘prostitutes’.” The

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