menandwomenhavingsex. It increases the appetite, causes weight gain and makes poorly nourished teens appear healthy and older - attracting clients who prefer girls with "curves"." />
Kandapara brothel in Tangail is one of 14 official brothels in Bangladesh. It consists of more than small rooms, which together make up what is in essence a prison for around sex workers.
Hashi embraces her 'husband' in her room. Many young and inexperienced prostitutes have 'lovers' or 'husbands'. They normally live outside the brothel, occasionally taking money or sex from the girls in exchange for security. The drug can be found at any tea or cigarette stall around the brothel. No one needs a prescription to buy it. Oradexon brings more income but leaves dangerous side effects. It increases the appetite, causes weight gain and makes poorly nourished teens appear healthy and older - attracting clients who prefer girls with "curves".
A customer jokes with Hashi as she tries to pull him into her room. With rates as low as 50 taka 60 U. Maya also works in the brothel. Her son Halim, a four-year-old child, lives with her parents. She cannot save money for him as she has to pay off bills and debts. Eleven-year-old Shefali, a prostitute, gets her eyebrow threaded. Shefali was born in Kandapara brothel because her mother was also a prostitute. She has to serve around customers per day. Shefali doesn't know how much she earns as her Madam takes away all of her income.
In exchange she gets food three times a day and, occasionally, some gifts. The evening was quieter than in hectic Dhaka. The gentle breeze of spring surrounded the cold atmosphere of the small town of Tangail, in the northeast of Bangladesh. The bright tungsten lights of grocery shops and the high volume of Bangladeshi pop music from the tea stalls mesmerised the whole area. Between these stalls, the alleyways on the other side of wide drains were dark.
Following my fixer I suddenly found myself inside one of these narrow lanes, where young girls with heavy makeup and colourful clothes were lined up.
The girls of different ages, though mostly teenagers, tried to draw the attention of men by laughing, chuckling and pulling their hands. The neighbourhood, which consists of around buildings with more than small rooms, is one of the 14 official brothels of Bangladesh. But in essence it is a prison for around sex workers. The young prostitutes in this brothel must serve at least customers each day. He raped me again and again. It was bleeding severely and I was crying. Hashi cleaned some small fish as she prepared dinner.
I noticed that despite her age, physically she looks mature. The drug can be found in any tea or cigarette stall around the brothel. No one needs any prescription to buy it. She said, I have to look more healthy and beautiful. I first rejected her offer. She beat me up and stopped giving food. She threatened me and reminded me about my loans.
But I have no choice to go back to normal life anymore. I have a four-year-old son. I gave him to one of my relatives. I take Oradexon. I need customers to pay my bills and repay my loans. I hope to save some money for my son. Every evening debtor knocks at the door for money.
According to research by ActionAid, sex workers between 18 and 25 years of age are most prone to taking the drug Oradexon as they need to attract clients and entertain them in the way their competition does. Lack of awareness, easy availability and malpractice of quacks are the prime causes. As I roamed around the brothel seeking an opportunity to portray their situation through my camera, Maya, a sixteen-year-old sex worker welcomed me in her tiny room. She offered me food, and became surprised when I accepted her offer. Sex workers are treated as untouchables in the conservative Muslim society of Bangladesh.
For the last eight years, Maya has been working as a prostitute at Kandapara brothel. In exchange she served me food three times a day. For me, that was enough.
I was drying up, there was no glow in my face. I noticed my number of clients was decreasing. I started to take back the medicine just to survive. It increased my appetite and I started feeling more hungry. I feel more proud in myself. I need more clients to raise my son.