In this episode of Ganeteya Dudimegagi Navu Manushyaru, RJ Radha interviews Geetha, who shares the story of how she was lured into sex work by a loved one, all in the name of money.
Geetha was introduced to a healthy and better lifestyle when she joined Swathi Mahila Sangha, which works towards improving the quality of life of women engaged in sex work.
Geetha empathises with her female colleagues and hopes that they would choose decent, healthy and respectable jobs. She emphasises the use of condoms for protection. She advises young girls to not get fooled by desires and fantasies and instead seek education and choose a right man for marriage.
At Swathi Mahila Sangha, she helps create awareness about and conducts regular health check-ups for young girls, some of whom have been forced into sex work by their own family members. The discussion on protection is a very important one at these sessions. Geetha feels dismayed that these women are not paid well for their work. Some women who used to earn a pittance earlier through sex work, have now quit and found decent jobs. Geetha feels that women should choose good men as their life partners but never share personal financial details with them. “This helps in situations when the women’s partners are physically abusive. Even their children are scared to talk about it,” she says.
Geetha is 33. She chose to quit school after the IV standard and started working at a factory when she was 10. She got married at the age of 12 to a 30-year-old man. She returned to her mother when her husband left her. She used to be harassed by her husband to have sex with him and she had two daughters with him.
Back home, she grew close to a man living next door. A second life beckoned but she could not save this marriage either. She tried locating her absconding husband, but to no avail. She attempted suicide, but was thankfully taken to a hospital by a woman who later offered her a job at Swathi Mahila Sangha.
Geetha also got her daughters married to the men of their choice, in spite of them having been in school. She had to fight the police to get her daughters married.
Till date, Geetha regrets attempting suicide and discontinuing her education, but finds her work fulfilling.