The life of a sex worker in the dark alleys of a brothel is harsh and cruel, and the scene isn’t much different from one country to another. The situation gets particularly harder for a teenager or a child trapped in such a world, and this is one such story that has left people teary-eyed. Bangladesh’s popular photographer GMB Akash, who has given voice many vulnerable people, shared the story of Afsana.
This sex worker’s tale has left everyone with mixed emotions — that of anger, frustration, helplessness and sadness. The teenager dreams of escaping to greener pastures, to do nothing but breathe. In her moving tale, she says she has a disease, “I cannot breathe behind a closed door. I also cry while I laugh, I can’t control.”
The heart-wrenching story highlights her everyday struggle. “Our mother is our madam. I assured her I will be okay very soon, I will only laugh, will never cry,” the post adds.
One line from the story is enough to understand the brutality faced by these girls and women in prostitution. Afsana in her story says, whenever she cries, her friend Priyanka gives her hope and strength but also reminds her “makeup is costly than my tears”. the spine-chilling tale has sparked a debate online and many are wondering how these girls could be saved from the trade.
It’s been a long time I want to go to a very green field. I have never been in any green field. But I really want to go. I have a disease, I cannot breathe behind a closed door. I also cry while I laugh, I can’t control. It’s causing a lot of trouble to our mother. Our mother is our madam. I assured her I will be okay very soon, I will only laugh, will never cry. How I came to this brothel, I have no idea; I was too small to remember anything. But my only problem is, it’s very difficult to breathe here. Also I have no memory of any person; I do not see any face when I close my eyes, I feel all alone. Girls used to say they have no one too. But I tell myself, I must have someone, somewhere, may be a mother, a father or a lost family. I never had anyone to remember. So I try hard to remember a face, just any face, and there comes no one. My friend, Prinyanka usually wipes off my tears very quickly before I ruin my makeup. She always reminds me, makeup is costly than my tears. She told me that one day we will go to a green field, she will take me there and I will breathe as much as I can. Only I hope, on that day I will be able to see someone when I will close my eyes. At least once in my life, I want to feel that I am not alone.
Even though the story is one of pain and struggle, her optimism and hope is also strengthening.