Asia Biggest Red Light Area 2024 – Sonagachi, Kolkata 

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Asia Biggest Red Light Area 2024 – Sonagachi, Kolkata 

Date : September 9, 2022

red light area sonagachi

In the Kolkata red light area, prostitution is present in different forms. Call girls are an example of non-brothel-based prostitutes. Prostitution can also be based in brothels. Prostitution (Call Girls Service) is illegal in India, causing prostitutes to work underground. It is unknown how many prostitutes there are in Kolkata overall. Some estimates state that there are more than 6,000 brothel-based women and girls in prostitution in Kolkata.

Asia's largest red-light district is called Sonagachi. There are over 11,000 sex workers in this area. The story of the children born into the world of whores is the subject of an Oscar-winning narrative. This story was titled "Naturally Introduced to Whorehouses."

Sex workers in red-light districts are often subjected to abuse and exploitation, and prostitution is against the law in India. Many of these women are exploited because they are compelled to work in the trade due to their low socioeconomic status and lack of education.

The Struggle for Respect and Equality:

A rising tide has been rising in recent years to give the sex workers of Sonagachi more agency in their fight for human rights and dignity. Groups and non-governmental organisations are making great strides to improve their living circumstances, expand their access to healthcare, and safeguard their rights.

A more humane and holistic approach to sex work is necessary, and Sonagachi is a sobering reminder of this.Sonagachi was the epicentre of India's AIDS pandemic in the 1980s.

The Sonagachi sex workers were very vulnerable to HIV, and the government was hesitant to provide them access to education and treatment at first. Activists for sex workers succeeded in getting the government to start helping Sonagachi's sex workers, nonetheless.

Sonagachi Kolkata's call girls are increasingly vocal and organised. In order to protect themselves and their rights, they have organised into cooperatives and unions. There are a variety of educational institutions and healthcare facilities in Sonagachi that support sex workers and their families.

Prostitute population

Asia's biggest red-light area: Sonagahchi

Prostitute population: The total number of prostitutes in Kolkata is not known. Some estimates state that there are more than 60,000 brothel-based women and girls in prostitution (escorts service) in Kolkata. The population of prostitutes in Sonagachi consists mainly of Nepalese, Indians, and Bangladeshis. Some sources estimate that there are 30,000 Bangladeshi women in the brothels in Kolkata.

Kolkata Red Light Area: Offering False Promises Or Offers

According to some sources, the most common form of trafficking consists of offering false promises or some offer of help out of a dead-end or crisis situation. Force is used later, after the prostitutes have already been sold. Mashis (brotherly owners/older sex workers) use friendship, sympathy, and veiled threats to convince the women that it is now in their best interest to conform and begin working.

red light area sonagachi

Here are the area names: Kolkata red light area

  1. The largest red-light district in Kolkata is Sonagachi
  2. The areas near Rippon Street or Elliot Road could not be exactly referred to as a 'prostitute area'. Mostly Anglo-Indian citizens lived there.
  3. In south Kolkata, there is a red-light district in the neighbourhood of Kalighat.
  4. In Bowbazar, opposite the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, there is a small Shiva temple. The address is Premchand Boral Street.
  5. Baruipur is a small locality on the southern fringe of Kolkata. There is a small red-light district.
  6. There is a red-light area at Naihati railway station near the river banks.
  7. South Kolkata Garia More used to be an area. Right now, it has shifted a little bit inside.
Escorting And Prostitution

Kolkata's Largest Red Light Area, Sonagachi

The largest red-light district in Kolkata is Sonagachi. The area came to be known as Sona Gachi from the sufi saint Sona Ghazi, whose tomb (mazaar) is located in the locality.

It is an area with several hundred multi-story brothels and around 10,000 sex workers

Sonagachi is located in North-Kolkata, near the intersection of Chittaranjan Avenue, Sova Bazar, and Beadon Street, just north of the Marble Palace. Several NGOs and government organisations operate here for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including AIDS.

Prostitute's In Sonagachi, Kolkata

The Sonagachi Project is a prostitute's cooperative that operates in the area and empowers sex workers to insist on condom use. A relatively low percentage of prostitutes in this district (5.17% of the 13,000 prostitutes in Sonagachi) are estimated to be HIV positive.

Human trafficking, however, makes these efforts difficult because clients refuse to use condoms, forcing third-party-controlled women to comply. Kolkata has emerged as a hub for the trafficking of girls, who often arrive from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Burma. From Kolkata, they are often sold again to brothels in Mumbai (Bombay). Some will go on to the Middle East, Africa and Europe

Escorting And Prostitution

How do girls who come from other parts of India get to Kolkata?

Many of the women who live in Sonagachi can't read or write because their families have taken them away, lied to them, or sold them into prostitution.

Many people say that the DMSC is afraid that HIV-positive women would lose their friends and family if they told the prostitutes in Sonagachi who tested positive for the virus that they had it.

Some women in Sonagachi say that at least 75% of their clients don't use condoms, and if we tell them they have to, they'll just go to the next house. People are ready to work without safety because they don't want to lose business. A lot of women are working here.

Kolkata's famous red light area

In south Kolkata, there is a red-light district in the neighbourhood of Kalighat. Though the location of this red-light district is way too far off from the sacred site of the famous Kali Temple, according to the civic maps of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, it falls under the area of Kalighat. Kidderpore is an area in the south of Kolkata.

There is a small red-light district on Mushigunj Road, near The Statesman's printing press. In Bowbazar, opposite the 'Calcutta Medical College and Hospital', there is a small Shiva temple. The address is Premchand Boral Street. The small street left of this is another, small red-light district.


Kolkata is one of Asia's largest red light areas.

Some of the most infamous red-light districts in Kolkata are Park Circus, Sonagachi, Kalighat, and Bowbazar. Nearby densely populated regions provide a variety of services, including inexpensive sex workers and expensive escorts.

Sex workers in red light districts are often exploited and abused, and prostitution is not legal in India.

A lot of these women end up in the sector because they have no choice but to because of a lack of education and money. Once there, they are susceptible to abuse. Sonagachi is the world's second-largest red light district, with 12,000 sex workers working nonstop.

Red Light Area Prices in Kolkata

Get to know the prices and charges of the many services provided by Kolkata's red light area before you go. Listed below are a few of the most popular seedy areas in Kolkata:

Red Light area name Rates (Price)
Sonagachi starting from Rs. 100
Bowbazar starting from Rs. 300
Kalighat starting from Rs. 300
Kidderpore starting from Rs. 6,000
Tollygunge starting from Rs. 200–500
Kalibari starting from Rs. 800
Beniapukur starting from Rs. 200
Barabazar starting from Rs. 300
Sealdah starting from Rs. 6,000
Rajabazar starting from Rs. 200–300

The History of Sonagachi:

Since the time of the colonies, Sonagachi has had a past. During that time, it was a red-light district for British troops. Over time, it has become one of the biggest and busiest red-light areas in Asia, with thousands of sex workers living there. In Japanese, the name "Sonagachi" means "Golden Tree," which is a metaphor for the wealth of the trade that thrives within its borders.Kolkata is home to India's biggest red light area in the east.

Sonagachi has been around for over two hundred years. The story goes that British troops built it during colonial times. At the start of the 1900s, Sonagachi was a busy red-light district with brothels, drug dens, and gaming places. But after India got its freedom in 1947, Sonagachi began to fall. In 1956, the Indian government made prostitutes legal, but it was still happening in the Sonagachi underworld.

These are some of the most common questions (FAQs) people have about Kolkata's red-light districts:

01. Should tourists feel safe going to Kolkata's sketchier neighbourhoods?

Not at all. Tourists should not go to red-light areas. People who are travelling should know that these places are known for a lot of illegal things. That's against the law, and you could get in trouble for it.

02. Is it okay to be a prostitute in Kolkata?

There is no rule that says you can be a prostitute in Kolkata or anywhere else in India. It is against the law in India.

03. Are red-light districts allowed in Kolkata?

In India, it is illegal to seek out or run a brothel. However, prostitution is not illegal in and of itself.

04. How did Sonagachi become a major problem area?

The first recorded use of Sonagachi was as a picnic spot for British troops in the early nineteenth century. It became a red-light district as a result of a conglomeration of social and economic issues over time.

05. How does the government handle the management of "red light" areas?

Finding a middle ground between sex workers' rights and the public's safety is a difficult balancing act for the government. The local climate and other factors may dictate a different set of policies and methods.

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