The Bedia tribe community situated on the outskirts of Jaipur, Madhya Pradesh seems to have a very disturbing profession – one would easily translate it as ‘dhandha’; yes, you’re right! The Bedia tribe call prostitution as their ‘Khandani Dhandha’ and the young girls of the family are subjected to prostitution at an early age. While the men stay at home and have no source of income, the women of the bedia tribe are the solo bread earners of their clan. Since there is no hope from the men in terms of earning, the women are more or less forced to be in their khandaani dhandha. And they can’t do anything about it.
In a country like India where the community still mourns on a daughter’s birth, a girl child in Bedia tribe is a matter of happiness – only to later make her life miserable and is treated just as a fortune to the tribes’ woman run household. They genuinely celebrate the birth of every girl child in their bedia tribe and community. Little does the small and the newly born infant knows that what she has to go through after few years.
The government has implemented various campaigns like six-phase Jubali Yojana and the Nirmal Abhiyaan for their betterment. Marrying off the girls through one of the schemes led to another serious problem as their husbands were found to be involved in the trafficking which further worsened the situation. Providing primary education has started changing the lives of the Bedia people- while men think of studying and earning bread, the girls are saved from a horrendous and petrifying life.
Education is a revolutionary key to renaissance but has offered little help to the Bedias. Changing mindset of the tribe is the utmost need as of today. Even if the men begin working, they’re unable to earn as much as the women. So this is again a major drawback and hence women have to engage themselves in this profession.
According to the tradition, the women who are married in the community from a different caste are never subjected to the family business. The daughters are to bear the burden. Although it is said that the profession is not forced on the Bedia women but given as a choice against marriage, a lot of them prefer working as “sex workers” rather than getting married. The young girls claim that it gives them more freedom rather than getting married, doing the household chores – a scenario in which they have thrived on since childhood looking at their mother and aunts.
Evoking the thoughts of a bright future with proper educational and natural surroundings, wherein a woman is protected from turmoils and not looked down by the society is the only crux for the improvement of Bedia women, is essential in a nation which strives for women empowerment.
Also Read: Devadasi – A Story of God’s Prostitute
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