According to a report, large number of adolescent girls are coerced into sex to earn their livelihood in Kathmandu. Although these teenager girls, aged between 14 to 18 years, are exploited the concerned authorities in Kathmandu don’t care. This report is based on a report by Laxmi Basnet for Centre for Investigative Journalism-Nepal.
Basnet has found adolescent and teenage girls who were lured to Kathmandu for better livelihood and jobs end up being sex workers. Some of these girls are forced by their masters, some without their choice or knowledge. They work in tea shops, restaurants, guest houses, night clubs, and dance bars. After being coerced into prostitution, some of these young girls get pregnant leading to a lifelong trauma. Here are the stories of some of the girls:
Kamana, 16-years-old girl at Sapana Guest House, Kalanki
It has already been three years since the 16-years old Kamana has been working in Sapana Guest House of Kalanki. Although she denied working as a sex worker at first, she later told she was “engaged in bad work.”
Kamana has various clients every day at the guest house. Some spends few hours in the day with her. Others spend the whole night with her. Kamana gets some tips from these guests and says that most of her clients are married men. Most of the men she sleeps with are aged between 35 to 40 years and she prefers the regular clients than going with new clients.
For the past two years, she has been staying in a rented room with her friends who is also a sex worker. Kamana says that she has regular clients who she goes with when they want. She has contacts with hotel owners and they also provide her number to the clients. She is making enough by the profession and is not interested to go to school. In her home, her parents know that she has a good job that pays her well. She also sends money to home. She has no interest to go back to the village.
Prerana from Nuwakot, sex worker at 17
Prerana is turning 21 soon. She was introduced into prostitution at the age of 17. Now, she has started a tailoring business in Kathmandu and also has completed the advanced course in fashion designing. Now she is a different person from what she was four years ago.
After SLC examination, her mother got ill and she has to earn money to treat her mother. She came to Kathmandu to earn money. Her aunt helped her to find a job in a hotel in Balaju. Although she was to clean the dishes and do housekeeping in the business, the owner of the business demanded that she had to “fulfill all the demand of the clients.” Prerana says, she did everything for the clients.
When the owner tried to rape her, she fled the hotel. Her second job was at a massage centre in Thamel. All the clients in the massage centre were males and the service providers female. In busy days, she had to service 14 to 15 clients.
Prapti at Kalash Guest House, Kalanki
Prapti was studying in grade 8 when she fled to Kathmandu. She was only 15 years old when she was forced into prostitution. She couldn’t tell about her real profession to her mother and brothers at home. So, she told that she got married and settled in Kathmandu. While she was working, I fell in love with one of her client, and actually got married. Her driver husband wants her to find a better job. She is also thinking about finding other jobs so that she could quit prostitution.
Now she is not there but, a few months ago, Prapti used to sleep with guests at Kalash Guest House in Kalanki. Prapti, earns around Rs. 4,000 to Rs.5,000 in a day.