X-ray test to save teenagers from getting into sex trade

Kolkata, Sep 28: In a bid to stop adolescent and teenage girls from entering prostitution, a sex workers' organization is using X-Ray test as a tool to determine the age of the girls who are about to join flesh trade.

The idea of using X-ray to stop underage girls from getting into the trade is being conducted across West Bengal by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a sex workers' organisation with around 1.30 lakh members.

"We don't want teenagers and adolescent girls to enter this trade. But at times agents, and even parents of poor families, try to present underage girls as above 18 years," said Mahashweta, a senior official of Durbar.

"We first ask them if they are above 18. Most of the time they lie. By looking at a 16-year-old girl, it is really tough to say whether she is 16 or 18. So we conduct an X-ray test to determine their real age," Maheshweta told PTI.

"By conducting an X-Ray of wrist and waist, the age of a woman can be easily determined. It is the easiest way and has been in practice in western nations to prevent underage girls from entering flesh trade," said Samarjit Jana, principal of Sonagachi Research and Training Institute (SRTI), an NGO which works with Durbar.

"This procedure is yet to be widely adopted in India. We hope that this Bengal model will show the way to others in days to come," Jana said.