Indian officials have softened prostitution laws to provide foreign sportsmen a distraction from shoddy preparations | A-list Indian call girls called from other cities to ‘hunt’ foreigners | ‘Escport’ agents are calling Commonwealth Delhi 2010 a ‘Sex Extravaganza’
- Indian rupee 23,000 per hour fixed for foreign clients
- ‘Escort’ agencies calling girls from other cities to New Delhi to meet the rise in demand
- Social activists fear Games will also give boost to India’s booming child sex industry
Sunday, 3 October 2010.
NEW DELHI, India—What’s the best way to divert foreign sportsmen’s attention from criticism on the filth at the Commonwealth Games Village? Say hello to the glamorous world of high-class sex.
Indian officials have brainstormed over the best options to divert attention from criticism and have come up with the idea of using the international event, which runs from 4 to 14 October, as an occasion to establish India’s credentials as a new destination in the world of glamorous organized sex, says a report published by the Daily Mail of Pakistan.
It’s a distraction, but also a chance to recover some of the seven billion US dollars that India has spent on organizing the Games, making Commonwealth Delhi 2010 the most expensive gaming event ever, say British journalist Christina Palmer and Indian journalist Ajay Mehta, who reported for the Daily Mail from New Delhi.
“As [India] is not expecting much income from the Games since a number of venues are incomplete and risky too, the main cities of India are all set to hold mega prostitution extravaganza and comprehensive betting bonanza during the games (…) Escort companies and providers of high class call girls received an unofficial nod from the Indian government in this regard, since prostitution is officially banned,” Palmer and Mehta write.
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that the organized escort agencies, both big and small scale, from Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Bangalore, hotbeds for A-list prostitutes, are already at the drawing board, listing out the candidates that will be sent to serve over one hundred thousand expected visitors to the games.
The report says that the exact number of ‘service girls’ expected to throng New Delhi from other Indian cities is not known, but adds, “The shortfall in the number of women available in New Delhi is approximately 50 per cent, of which 25 per cent will be met by the cities named above. The other 25 per cent will be sourced from Punjab and Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the North East.”
Exchanging sex for money is legal in India, but related activities such as soliciting sex, operating brothels and pimping are illegal.
As part of its cosmetic surgeries on India’s image to portray it as the next superpower, the Indian government has looked the other way in recent as years as the indigenous sex industry took off with the mushrooming of high-end ‘escort’ services based in Indian cities and abroad in Dubai and London, all promising to provide educated girls.
As India opened up for international business and call centers, so did the sex industry. And foreign visitors especially in the past five years have noticed how aggressively the Indians are marketing their repackaged sex industry. In 2008, barely two months before the high-profile terrorist attacks in Mumbai, New York Times ran a story whose headline said it all: High-Priced Prostitutes Sharing In India’s New Prosperity.
But as with everything else in India, not everything about its sex industry is glamorous.
Anywhere between 200 and 1,000 Indian girls and women enter prostitution every day, 80% of them against their will.
But more alarming is the child sex industry in India, which has the highest rate of recruitment of underage girls into prostitution in the world.
Since 1992, India has become a favorite destination for sex buyers from Europe looking for underage sex, including young boys and girls. The reason for choosing India is weak legal oversight and low cost of buying underage sex, and the complicity of local Indian government officials in the business. (See Robert I. Freidman, “India’s Shame: Sexual Slavery and Political Corruption Are Leading to An AIDS Catastrophe,” The Nation, 8 April 1996).
NGO activists fear that Indian child sex will get a boost during Commonwealth Delhi 2010 because of the lax attitude of Indian officials. Some fear official complicity in promoting sex in exchange for a cut in profits.
Here is an excerpt from the Daily Mail report:
“Raj, an escort agent who works with Indian Escort Girls from Mumbai, when contacted by The Daily Mail’s investigation team, said foreigners were their target audience and not Indian athletes. “We can actuate 2000 to 5000 escorts for the event in a week, but there has been a shortfall, which will have to be met by other cities. Americans and Europeans pay well and we expect a lot of business from them.”
Ellen (name changed due to security and commercial reasons), an escort from Goa, while talking to The Daily Mail said: “Yes, it’s a big event and makes great business sense for us. Our agents will make sure there will be enough of us to meet the demand.”
Neha Arora, who runs Escort International in New Delhi, upon contacting, said: “Our agency will concentrate on three things. “First, increasing the number of national and international ‘call girls’ in our agency to meet customers’ requirement. Second, making the girls look fit and hot so that they can work for extra hours and finally, increase our reach across the country. Our main focus during the games will be reaching out to foreigners as they pay well.”
She said there were thousands of agencies operating throughout India and the only way to stand out is to keep up with requirements. “We are planning to launch a new website next year with pictures of hot and sexy models, airhostess and actresses,” explained Ms. Arora
Tina Jaiswal who owns the No 1 Delhi Escort agency, when contacted by The Daily Mail’s team, said: “We hope to make good money during the games. We will simply follow the demand and supply principle of economics. We will double our rates a month before the games begin and increase our workforce. We have around 50 to 60 girls across India.”
Khairati Lal from Bhartiya Patita Uddhar Sabha, an NGO that works for the GB Road red light area in Delhi, giving her comments to The Daily Mail said: “We will not remain silent if any such developments occur in the city. We will protest via different mediums and programmes.” Uday Sahay, Additional Director General (communications) Commonwealth Games, upon contacting, said: “There are so many things which need to be discussed and this [prostitution] is one of them. We are in the process of discussing these things and hopefully a committee will be formed to tackle this soon”.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that the flow of money through the sex extravaganza is likely to be much higher than what the government of India would be spending to hold the event. The escort agencies have fixed the rates at Rs 23,000 per hour to charge the foreign “clients,” which ultimately concludes to the tunes of millions of rupees more than what the government of India would be spending on the holding of the event as according to statistics around 10,000 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) will participate in the 12-days of sporting competition. Overall 17 sports will be featured in CWG 2010, which will be held at six venue clusters, and five stand alone venues.
The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that Indians are also poised to hold betting bonanza during the Games. Investigations indicate the since India has emerged as the hub of global sports betting, the Commonwealth Games are going to be yet another high value event for the bookies. According to the underworld sources, bookies from different parts of the world, including South Africa, England, Thailand, Vietnam etc have already activated their networks in New Delhi, Pune and Mumbai and a betting of around 9 to 12 billion US dollars is expected in the coming 12 days.
The Daily Mail’s Investigations also indicate that there is also a very big threat of millions of stray dogs biting the participating athletes or the foreign visitors during the event at New Delhi. According to these investigations:
Thirty people, eight months, the latest equipment and a lot of patience’ is what took an international NGO to count the number of stray dogs on Delhi’s streets ahead of the opening ceremony of the Games. The figure is astounding: more than 260,000 stray dogs hiding in New Delhi’s streets.
But the counting process is equally fascinating. “It was a daunting task that took us almost eight months. We cannot exactly count each dog but as they are territorial animals it became easy. We just had to identify the zones,” said Karthik Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, the NGO that undertook the first survey of stray dogs in the city.
The survey, which started in January, divided the city into 14 zones according to municipal jurisdictions. “A team of 30 people were selected and trained to count dogs. They were also given six vehicles with latest equipment,” said Satyanarayan. The NGO used Global Positing System to identify low and high population density areas. The people involved in the survey said technology played an important role to identify roads and then to track the dogs. “Generally, dogs don’t move out of their territory. If a dog is spotted at one locality at Mayur Vihar, it won’t walk over to the next road. So we were sure the same animal was not being counted twice. It is also easy to identify the sterilized dogs from the non-sterilized ones. Sterilized animals have slight cuts in their ears,” said Satyanarayan.
After counting, the data was tallied with people’s reaction. “The resident survey threw up some interesting facts. Like about 66 per cent people feed stray dogs; only 50 per cent respondents were aware of the problem and only 20 per cent feared the animals,” he said.”
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