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Politics Indian Sect Members Vow To Marry Sex Workers


BBC News - Indian sect members vow to marry sex workers

More than 1,000 followers of a multi-religious sect in northern India have pledged to marry female sex workers who want to escape exploitation.

Young Hindu, Muslim and Sikh men have been queuing up at the Dera Sacha Sauda (Abode of the Real Deal) in the town of Sirsa as "wedding volunteers".

They say they are doing so to stop the women from being exploited in brothels.

They also claim that their move is part of a campaign to stop the spread of the HIV/Aids virus.

The Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) is one of many religious sects operating in northern India.

Most take root by offering community services, social welfare and spiritual leadership but over time, as their followings grow, they often seek political influence.

All women forced to live as prostitutes are my daughters
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Correspondents say that in religious terms, the DSS is hard to classify. Many experts argue that it is not, as some have said, an offshoot of Sikhism.

More than 1,200 DSS members have signed pledges to marry the sex workers following a call from DSS chief Ram Rahim Singh a little over a month ago.

Mr Singh commands a huge following of predominantly lower caste Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs across the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Two years ago his growing influence brought the DSS chief into confrontation with the mainstream Sikh clergy who claimed he had tried to imitate their beliefs.

The sectarian violence that ensued across Punjab - as well as subsequent rape and murder charges brought against Ram Rahim Singh - have cast a shadow on the affairs and functioning of the DSS ever since, observers say.

But the group's supporters believe the new campaign is to halt the spread of HIV by offering respectable options to sex workers and is part of a long list of related initiatives against drug abuse and female foeticide.

"By helping drug users and sex workers we are trying to help remove people from the highest risk situations," said Dr Aditya Insan, a senior DSS functionary.

'Delicately handled'

He estimates that 40%-50% of women working in red light districts in cities like Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi are HIV carriers.

Mr Singh (known as Guru-ji to his supporters) proclaimed at a congregation last month that "all women forced to live as prostitutes are my daughters".

His remarks brought forth a virtual flood of eager young volunteers from his flock.

Business graduate Ashish Sachdeva, 22, is in the garments trade in the town of Sirsa. He believes that marrying a sex worker could be his chance to repay his debt to humanity and society.

"I am very well settled and it will be the greatest honour for me to respond to Guru-ji's call."

Nearly 100 young sex workers have contacted the DSS - from Calcutta's Shonagachi red light district to brothels in Delhi and Mumbai.

"This will have to be a slow and delicately handled process," Dr Insan said.

"Many women are HIV-positive. Some have young children and are understandably concerned about their future. We need to ensure these women are protected legally once they are married."


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Yes I agree with you Narayanjot ji. On the surface this looks like great Seva, but of course one must then question the motives of these men. I'm sure that most of their motives are honorable, but some may not be.

Kanwardeep Ji asks how could anybody marry somebody with HIV. I don't see the issue here. Might as well ask how can somebody marry someone with cancer.

HIV is sexualy tranmsmited but very easy to protect against using condoms. The past few years have seen many breakthroughs in the treament of HIV and AIDS.


Lee ji

I used to read doctor's column on Sex in Newspaper.Many people used to ask question that they visited or visit sex workers and using condoms.But still is there any chance of Aids? and Doctor reply always was that best way to protect yourself to protect against HIV is not to go to any sex worker.Do not fully trust the condom


Lee ji

I used to read doctor's column on Sex in Newspaper.Many people used to ask question that they visited or visit sex workers and using condoms.But still is there any chance of Aids? and Doctor reply always was that best way to protect yourself to protect against HIV is not to go to any sex worker.Do not fully trust the condom

Indeed Kanwardeep Ji,

Nothing in this world can be said to be 100% certian. When you cross the road even if you look both ways before crossing, you may still be hit by a car. I belive that the actual percentage that a well known manufacturere of condoms gives for the safty of it's product is 99%.

Well I would say that 99% protection is better than 0% protection. Yet the good doctor is correct, if you want 100% protection against any sexualy transmitted disease, the only way to ensure this is to never have sex.

Consider this though.

Leprosy is highly contagiouse, is it then better that those who work in the health proffesion refuse aid to those who suffer from this disease so as to keep themselfs safe or continue to help those that need it?

Me, I'll go for the latter. Should we really give into our fears and so refuse aid to those who may need it, or should we offer aid, any sort of aid, to those in need, even though it may shorten our lifes?


Well its ok to marry them but what about afterwards. The society in India plus a couple wanting kids will see to it that this isn't a success.

There are better ways to reduce sex workers. Tell the men to masturbate instead. Its like a time when my Aunt called sex worker 'Randis'. I got a bit angry at that. They're sex workers because sex is a big business and men go to them in most cases.
This first reads like good news -- or seva to the max. Then started to wonder about it. Anyone else have questions?

Narayanjot jeo,
How a creator of these poor helpless prostitues can be saying all this nonsense. At his place in Sirsa he has got abig HURAM and at a time hunderds of ladies are there. All arangements and needs for these girls like beauty parlours and boutiques and message parllours are there inside this palace which is fortress loke built. All the cases this Baba is having arev related to those girls which were kept there inside this huram. Now, what these girls will be doing once Baba is fed up from them, they will,all be joining this endless army of prostitues.
ram rahim must be keeping all good stuff for himself and dish out the to his cheles.its called recruitment as we all dera need more musle wat better to attaract young men by offering them women os special job discription. he is lucha sood after all:happykaur: