At Freedom Firm, our investigators have one of the toughest jobs. Their lives are constantly at risk. Some of the red light areas are under heavy surveillance, new faces or the same familiar face is treated with suspicion and within seconds or minutes, the situation can go from normal to dangerous. Remember this is a multi-crore industry and every girl has been bought at a high price (a virgin can fetch as much as $9000-$12,000.) Brothel keepers and traffickers will guard their investment at any cost.
Investigator X talks about his time on the streets and observations of the trade.
Q: In all your years as an investigator for Freedom Firm, is there any experience that stands out?
There was a red light area near the Banaras railway station (Uttar Pradesh). It was late evening. I started talking to one girl. She looked under-age and I also wanted to find out if other minor girls were present in the area. As I was talking to her, some of the locals started referring to this girl, who was dressed in girls' clothing and wore jewelry and all, as a guy. It suddenly dawned on me that I was talking to a guy who was dressed up as a girl. I abruptly ended the conversation and left. After chatting with some of the locals, I realized that this guy was acting a part. Once he took his unsuspecting customer to the hotel room, he would make a phone call to his friends who were standing outside the hotel, who would then barge into the hotel room and rob the customer of all his possessions.
That was one lucky escape.
Q: How many red-light areas have you visited?
A:I have visited about 20 red light areas across India – Banaras, Pune, Jabalpur, Agra, Meerut…
Q: Are they all different or do all look the same?
A: They all look the same. The girls also all look and behave the same way. You can only tell the difference if a girl talks in her native language. They all wear similar clothes.
Q: What about the brothel keepers, are they the same?
A: No the brothel keepers look different in each area. In Jabalpur, the brothel keeper had a room that she used as an office. She showed me pictures of 10-15 girls, no names just their face, age, and rate.
Q: Are there times you are afraid of the job and just want to quit?
A: No. Now I am not afraid. It is very challenging work but important work. These young girls shouldn’t be exploited. So I want to join the fight.