Mumbai’s Red Light Area

Kamathipuram is infamously Asia’s largest red-light area.

* Red-light areas are home to the most marginalized women.

* Sex workers are trafficked here from all across India.

* In many cases, they are trafficked as minors and young adults.


A red-light district or a pleasure district is part of an urban area and is associated with the sex industry. These areas are concentrated with brothel-based prostitution, street prostitution and other sex-oriented businesses. (Caves, 2005)


* Despite violence by client, it is often motioned that sex workers can’t be raped.

* They are in constant debts because of non-payment of dues to brothel owners.

* Sex workers face offensive name callings on the street and in the society.

* They are often denied basic human needs of food, adequate sleep and medication.


* Brothels of red-light areas have poor infrastructure.

* They are situated in 3000 yrs. old dilapidated buildings.

* Each room or ‘Pinjra’ in a brothel is as small as 20 Sq. Ft.

* Every room is shared by 4-15 women to serve their clients.


* Red-light areas are a hotspot for transmission of diseases like Tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, STDs.

* Myths and superstitions about use of condom increase spread of diseases.

* Infected women are abandoned and have nowhere to go.


* Women lack knowledge about basic human rights.

* They are dependent on others for resources and assistance.

* The justice systems lack the capabilities to respond to these women’s needs.

Social Stigma

* Active, rescued and rehabilitated women are not accepted by family members.

* They are vulnerable to exploitation at their new workplace.

* Insensitivity of bureaucracy makes them unapproachable