United Press International

April 13, 2008

India - Virginity Valued in Indian Sex Industry

JAIPUR, India, April 13 (UPI) -- Young girls willing to sell their virginity by entering India's sex trade can expect to draw more than 200 times the base rate, prostitutes say.

While the normal rate for a prostitute in India is little more than $2.50, a virgin can fetch more than $500, though she will see none of the money, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

One girl, Suli, told the newspaper while she "chose" to become a prostitute, she was "a little" frightened.

"I know other girls who are in the trade but I have not asked them how it is," Suli said. "I will go with whoever pays the highest price."

Another virgin, Nita, has four sisters who are prostitutes. "We have been offered 25,000 (rupees for Nita; $625), but it is not enough," one sister said.

The tradition of buying a girl's virginity involves a lavish party celebrating the girl's non-wedding night. The prostitution payment pays for the celebration, which marks the fact the girl will never be able to marry, the British newspaper said.

Afterward, the girl must struggle to survive in shelters along area roads where she could see dozens of clients daily.

The Telegraph said the money these girls earn helps support their families and pays dowries so their brothers can marry.



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