A lane in KamathipuraKamathipura (also spelled Kamthipura) is Mumbai's oldest and Asia's largest red-light district. The area was set up by the British for their troops, which acted as their official "comfort zone". This small region boasted the most exotic consorts. When the British left India, the Indian sex workers took over.
Excerpt from the website accompanying Andrew Levine's documentary, 'The day my God died':
"I was in the middle of Kamthipura, the largest red light district in the world, and I didn’t even know it. With camera in hand, my girlfriend (who is now my wife) at my side, I was assaulted by smells and snapping away. Later I learned that every vile desire a man could dream of was for sale and child virgins were the region’s most noted delicacies."
Today, it is said that there are so many brothels in the area, that there is no space for the sex workers to sit in. They hang around in the streets, solicit customers and then rent a free bed.
The deceased Mr. Linganna Puttal Pujari (1915-1999), who migrated to Bombay from Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh in the year 1928), a prominent social worker and city and state legislator, was largely responsible for most of the civic amenities available to the residents of Kamathipura today.
Some historical sources point out that the origin of slums, subsequently the red-light areas of Mumbai (previously Bombay) including Kamathipura is related to land acquisition, from the indigenous locals who were evicted from their farmlands and cattle-fields and forced themselves to live in congested conditions, for the development of the industrial harbor city. At the early stages, people accumulated in the new slums partly depended on constructions contracts. But later, as men became unemployed due to lack of job, more and more women turned up selling themselves in the red-streets of the town for livelihood. Now these streets are just playgrounds for human traffickers and mafia in addition to the economic refugees who came to these areas during the past years.