According to officials of Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society and 'coordinators' of flesh trade, the number of brothels has doubled in the city in the last two years.
The business, which has been recession-proof, is booming in brothels with girls in the trade charging anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 10,000 a day or even more, depending on their age, appearance and the client's spending capacity. These brothels are largely being operated from residential apartments that are spread across Twin Cities, according to non-governmental organisations and networks working with the People Living with HIV/Aids (PLHAs).
What is new in the city's flesh trade is the organised business model that they have adopted with pimps saying that Hyderabad brothels are going the Mumbai way. Pimps say that the number of such brothels would be around 2,000 to 3,000.
The trend of 'contracts'' too has come to stay in Hyderabad. "I was taken on a contract for ten days by a pimp and catered to ten clients a day earning Rs 23,000. Now, I have set up my own business,'' says a sex worker who continues to work. She maintains that she insists on condom use by her clients, a claim that officials aren't too sure of.
Sex workers share that girls in the age group of 15 to 25 years are in demand and their customers are mostly married who range from businessmen, software engineers to even auto-walas.
A pimp who operates in the Yousufguda area, told TOI that coordinators lure girls with 'good money', showcasing Hyderabad as a cash-rich destination with the IT and real estate boom. "Girls are being brought from rural areas of West Bengal as well as Maharashtra and tribal Gujarat. Even girls from Warangal and Nalgonda are being inducted. Earlier, they were mostly natives of Andhra from districts like Krishna, Guntur, East Godavari (Kakinada and Rajhamundry) and Vizag," said the broker, in the business since past five years.
Officials said they started mapping brothels as it became impossible for them to fan out to each sex worker to spread Aids awareness messages. That there could be a considerable number of minor girls operating from these brothels is a serious area of concern, but police officials admit it is difficult to keep tabs on these brothels as they are temporary in nature and sex workers shift out of their flats every month.
C Ravi Verma, DCP west zone, said that girls are promised money up to Rs 40,000 and brought to the city and says that more people in the city are visiting sex workers than before. "The problem is even after we catch them, they come out on bail and start operating from a different place all over again,'' he says, ruing that very few people lodge complaints.