Sonagachi

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A scene in Sonagachi, 2005
Sonagachi, translated as Golden Tree, is the largest red-light district in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. It is an area with several hundred multi-story brothels and some 10,000 sex workers. [1] Sonagachi is located in North-Kolkata at , near the intersection of Chittaranjan Avenue Sova Bazar and Beadon Street, just north of the Marble Palace.

The area was used by the Bengali Babus for maintaining concubines and mistresses in the 1700s and 1800s. Several mansions in this district have their roots in history in the early days of British Raj. Legends say that even the famous courtesans and patrons of Paris knew of the fame of the Golden district of Kolkata.

Today, several NGOs and government organizations operate here for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases [STD] including AIDS. The book Guilty Without Trial by the founders of the NGO Sanlaap based much of their research into human trafficking in India on this area.

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Sonagachi 2005
The Sonagachi project is a prostitute's cooperative that operates in the area and empowers sex workers to insist on condom use and to stand up against abuse. It was founded by public health scientist Smarajit Jana in 1992 but is now largely run by the prostitutes themselves. It is credited with keeping the HIV infection rate among the prostitutes at 5 per cent, much lower than in other Indian red-light districts, and has been called a best practices model by the UN AIDS programme. [2] The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) runs the Sonagachi project and several similar projects in West Bengal, organizing some 65,000 prostitutes and their children. The organization lobbies for the recognition of sex workers' rights and full legalization, runs literacy and vocational programs, and provides micro loans.[3] "Durbar" means unstoppable in Bengali. The DMSC hosted India's first national convention of sex workers on November 14th, 1997 in Kolkata, entitled 'Sex Work is Real Work: We Demand Workers Rights'.[4]

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Sonagachi, 2005
The documentary Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids won the Oscar for best documentary feature in the year 2005. It depicts the lives of children born to prostitutes in Sonagachi.

References

1. ^ Girl-trafficking hampers Aids fight BBC news. 30 November, 2004
2. ^ "The Prostitutes' Union", Scientific American, April 1, 2006
3. ^ durbar.org, home page of the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee
4. ^ Sex work is real work: We demand workers rights, announcement of the 1997 sex worker convention

External links

Prostitution in India
PITAIndian Penal CodeChukri SystemAadhiya SystemShivdaspurKamathipura • Sonagachi • SanlaapAll Bengal Women's UnionBorn into BrothelsGuilty Without TrialAIDS in IndiaTulasaDurbar Mahila Samanwaya CommitteeBacharaDance bar • Pornography in India
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A red-light district is a neighborhood where prostitution and other businesses in the sex industry flourish.
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Kolkata   (Bengali: কলকাতা, IPA: ['kolkat̪a]
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A brothel, also known as a bordello or whorehouse, is an establishment specifically dedicated to prostitution, providing the prostitutes a place to meet and to have sex with the clients.
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Chittaranjan Avenue, more commonly C.R. Avenue, is the previous "Central Avenue" - a principal north-south thoroughfare in north and central Kolkata.

Stretch

The C.R.Avenue runs from the Esplanade in the southern limit to near Sovabazar is the northern side.
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The Marble Palace, located at 46,Muktaram Babu Street, Kolkata 700007, is a palatial mansion located in North Kolkata which was built by Raja Rajendra Mullick in 1835 and contains several Western sculptures, pieces of Victorian furniture, paintings by European and
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Bengali people are the ethnic community from Bengal (divided between India and Bangladesh) on the Indian subcontinent with a history dating back four millennia. They speak Bengali (বাংলা Bangla
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Babu may refer to: Means 'brother' usually and 'boss'when adressed in respect.
  • Babu (title), a South Asian term of respect or endearment
  • Babu (wrestling) aka Pablo Marquez, a WWE wrestler

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Concubinage is the state of a woman or youth in an ongoing, quasi-matrimonial relationship with a man of higher social status. Typically, the man has an official wife and, in addition, one or more concubines.
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British Raj (rāj, lit. "rule" in Hindi) or British India, officially the British Indian Empire, and internationally and contemporaneously, India
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A courtesan in mid-16th century usage referred to a mistress, especially one associated with wealthy, powerful, or upper-class men who provided luxuries and status in exchange for her companionship.
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Ville de Paris

City flag City coat of arms

Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
(Latin: "Tossed by the waves, she does not sink")

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro.
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Kolkata   (Bengali: কলকাতা, IPA: ['kolkat̪a]
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non-governmental organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by private persons or organizations with no participation or representation of any government.
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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Classification & external resources

The Red ribbon is a symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS.
ICD-10 B 24.
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Guilty Without Trial: Women in the Sex trade in Calcutta, by Carolyn Sleightholme and Indrani Sinha (published in 1996 by STREE books in India and in 1997 by Rutgers University Press in the United States, ISBN 978-0-8135-2381-1) is a look into the lives of sex workers in
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Sanlaap is an Indian feminist NGO, established in 1987. Its focus is to make the world a safe place for girl children and women by protecting their rights.

Mission Statement


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Smuggling, also known as trafficking, is the sneaking of goods or persons past a point where prohibited, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of the law or other rules.

There are various motivations to smuggle.
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condom is a device, usually made of latex, or more recently polyurethane, that is used during sexual intercourse. It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner.
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The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee or Durbar, is a group of over 60,000 sex workers, set up in 1995[1] and based in West Bengal, India. The Durbar is active in challenging barriers that form the everyday reality of sex workers' lives as they relate to their
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Coordinates: West Bengal (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Poshchimbôŋgo) is a state in eastern India.
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Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable.
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Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids is a 2004 American documentary film about the children of prostitutes in Sonagachi, Calcutta's red light district.
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Academy Award

Awarded for Excellence in cinematic achievements
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Country United States
First awarded May 16, 1929 to honor achievements of 1927/1928
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Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to "document" reality. Although "documentary film" originally referred to movies shot on film stock, it has subsequently expanded to include video and digital
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20th century - 21st century - 22nd century
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2005 by topic:
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Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun
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Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States.
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Zana Briski [1] is an English artist (photographer, filmmaker) and activist. Her mother is an Iraqi Jew, who resides in Israel. [2]

Her documentary film, Born into Brothels
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