The Largest Red Light District In Delhi
We had been to the New Delhi railway station many times before, and nothing significant had changed since the last time we were there. But today, everything felt different and wrong because we knew where we were going from the station. Garstin Bastion Road is Delhi’s largest Red Light district and a hub for buying and selling trafficked girls.
Our hearts have been broken over the plight of trafficked girls for a while now. They are kidnapped, drugged, raped, abused and threatened until their spirits are completely broken. Then they are forced to work long hours as a prostitute, during which their “customers” often violently abuse them. We have served briefly alongside Christians ministering in Red Light districts in other parts of India. We thought maybe it would be nothing new, so we weren’t sure if visiting G.B. road would impact us very much.
But how could it not? If you open up your heart and allow yourself to think about the pain these girls experience and truly attempt to sympathize with them and pray for them, your heart will be broken every time.
G.B. Road Is Different
Both of us were amazed at how open everything is. Prostitution is legal in India, but pimping, human trafficking, and especially facilitating the prostitution of minors is very illegal. Everyone knows this happens on G.B. road, yet the dreadful abuse continues. It takes about thirty minutes to walk down the red light district from end to end, and in that distance, there are three police stations. No joke.
Most of the buildings on G.B. road are a few stories high with hardware stores on the bottom floors. The upper floors of these cement buildings house about five thousand prostitutes and their children behind thoroughly barred windows and balconies. From the outside, the upper floors look like run down prisons, but prison would probably be a better place to live.
And all of this takes place above one of the best hardware markets in India under the nose of three police stations virtually a stones through away from the most visited place in Delhi: the New Delhi railway station. It is infuriating that this red light district even exists, but we didn’t even have words to express how we felt when we realized how open and accepted this is in Delhi.
This Area Desperately Needs Jesus
As we walked down the street in the middle of the afternoon, we saw lots and lots of men. It is hard not to despise all of them. It’s hard to view any man on this road as anything other than a pimp or “customer”. But even if most of them are, they are still human beings created in God’s image, desperately needing God’s love.
There are organizations working to help the victims of G.B. road, but there is so much more need. Above all, there is a need for Jesus. Those who fight trafficking and those working to reach unreached peoples with the gospel are often in conflict with each other. But it doesn’t really get more unreached than a red light district. The abusers, survivors, and children in G.B. road are in desperate need of love and the message of eternal salvation. Although some are ministering in red light districts in Delhi, such work has not gained momentum here the way it has in other cities. We are praying this will change. Will you join us?