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Sodomy ring bared in Puri

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  • Published 18.11.08

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 18: “I am staying with Joseph (a French tourist) for the past five years. He says that he will take me with him. I have sex with him regularly.” This is a candid confession of Raju (name changed), a 12-year-old boy who lives in Pentakata slum in Puri.

“Initially it was painful and I used to cry. Now it’s a daily routine. He has sex with other children also. Sometimes he wants to have sex with each other,” says Raju.

“I am waiting for the day when Joseph will take me with him and so I agree with whatever he does to me,” says the slum boy.

Raju was one of the 13 boys under the age group of 6-18 from Puri, who had been interviewed by Equations, a Bangalore-based organisation, which conducted case studies on male child sexual abuse in some pilgrim sites of the country.

All the children explained poverty as one of the factors responsible for their situation, said S. Vidya, the programme coordinator of Equations. Most children found themselves helpless against the forces that determine their destiny, she added.

They have sex with a wide range of tourists who pay Rs 50 to Rs 200 per day, said the report released here today. However, building relationship with the foreign tourists is more “profitable” than domestic tourists as the former provide toys, chocolates, cycles, nice dresses and sometimes money to renovate or build their houses, said the children covered under the study.

Male children are primarily in demand as the families believe that there is less risk. Girls selling sex bear social stigma and also run the risk of getting pregnant.

Most of the boys subjected to sexual abuse are from lower income group who earn between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 per month and their earnings fall to less than Rs 300 during March-August. They indulge in sex trade to protect their mothers from entering into prostitution, as there is no other source of income, said Vidya.

Domestic tourists often make contacts with children through pimps or hotels, while foreign tourists approach the children and their families directly and provide money for their daily needs. Foreign tourists also come into contact with children in the guise of “English teacher” or “social worker”, said the study report.