Forgotten Children's

Madhyapradesh, India

Banchras, a community for which prostitution is a way of life. The eldest daughter of the family usually becomes a prostitute and earns for the family till she becomes old. Then another younger girl takes over.

A section of the community – once a nomadic tribe forced to give their girls to local chieftains – fiercely guards the tradition, which gives them the luxury of feeding off their daughters without doing anything.

The 15,000-odd members of the community are spread over 70 – settlements in northwest Madhya Pradesh, India. Efforts of the younger generation to end this cruel practice have led to conflict with the elders but many have managed to break free. But despite the changes, the stigma remains.

 

Men want to sit idle and in the name of tradition and make their daughters work as prostitutes. They are in a majority and resist all change. And it is again tradition which makes them demand reverse-dowry if any boy wants to marry a Banchra girl. The Banchra boys are finding it difficult to find a bride.