I had the role of Anita, another girl who finds herself imprisoned in a brothel in Kolkata... 20 million people are in some form of slavery in the world, of that 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation, 5 million are children. And this "industry" is worth $150 billion a year in illegal profits.
The story of two teenage girls raped and murdered in India this spring while looking for a discreet place to relieve themselves outdoors made headlines around the world. Sadly, their situation is far from unique. Half a billion women and girls - 15% of females worldwide - are forced to do this every day simply because they do not have access to a toilet. This crisis risks women's health, and threatens their safety. The new Indian government was moved to act following the tragedy of the two Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh, pledging zero tolerance for acts of violence against women. Their statement is welcome. However, protecting women from harassment and attack will not happen overnight.
It is peculiar that repressing sexuality is a relatively recent phenomenon in India, sexuality was not a taboo always! The first literature on the science of sexuality, the nude artistry in Ajanta caves in South India and the erotic 9th century Hindu temples, are profound evidence in favor of sexual expression, found in both sculptures and scriptures in India.
In my eyes it is in the purity of the nation, the basic imperfections that really strike a chord with western travelers. Traveling through India really is the most refreshing, invigorating and enriching experience that any traveller can gain. So, here are 5 reasons why India should be the next country you visit.
More than 200 million widows live in poverty worldwide, many of them falling victim to abuse - rape, prostitution and eviction all common problems. Others are simply abandoned to a life of social isolation because of their lowly status within society. Yet their plight is often invisible, with many people unaware of the injustices taking place.
Maximum governance, minimum government. India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was forming a cabinet based on this principle. He would seek to shrink the "top layers of government". In doing so, he would prioritise the speed of government decision-making, which has slowed development over the past few years...
t is difficult, I think, to visit India without becoming aware, in some way, of its religious life. Every couple of miles on the roadside north of Puri - where impossibly green rice paddy-fields stretch to either horizon - there are enormous statues of the monkey-faced God Hanuman; fifteen foot tall and brightly painted in garish colours.