Facing the heat from cops, escorts have shifted base to the internet. MiD DAY discovers that doing business is as easy as apple pie
PIMPS, newspaper advertisements and escort agencies are passe for young, educated girls from the city looking to make a quick buck through prostitution.
The Internet-savvy women, who call themselves independent escorts, have now taken to setting up their own websites to solicit customers, complete with a marketing pitch, photographs, list of services offered and even a rate chart.
A MiD DAY survey has revealed that hundreds of such prostitutes are now available at 'prices' ranging from Rs 10,000 for an hour-long session to Rs 4 lakh for an entire day. Estimates peg the value of this new sunshine industry at Rs 1,000 crore per annum, with close to a thousand such escorts active in Mumbai alone.
Take the case of Ishika Kapoor, who claims to be a 24-year-old, high-class escort from the city. Her website says she is an airhostess and provides sexual services to high profile clients.
'I am a 24-year-old beauty with a stunning height of 5 ft 5 inches. I have a fair complexion and sexy body 36C-24-36 9 (sic). I am an airhostess and an independent escort girl in Mumbai.
I provide services to VIPs and elite clients seeking quality and personal companionship. I provide a highly confidential service to my clients. 'I am hot, busty and fun-loving. I am also a travel companion.
My escort services are available 24X7 in Mumbai, India and abroad. My rates start from Rs 15,000. My price may be a little expensive compared to other escort service providers, but I deliver quality.
Once you are confident and ready, feel comfortable to call me,' her sales pitch reads on her website (domain name withheld).
When this reporter, posing as a client, called Kapoor on her cellphone number listed on the website, she said she would be busy shopping on Friday evening.
"Where have you booked the hotel? I look the same as I do on photos on my website. The rates are also mentioned there, but the price is negotiable," Kapoor told this reporter.
'Hate to rush'
Diksha Arya is another such independent escort who is immensely popular among wealthy netizens looking for companionship. On her website, Arya claims to be a 25-year-old Mumbaikar, who is 5 ft 5 inches tall and has 34-26-36 as her 'vital stats'.
"I am a fashion designer as well as a well-spoken and educated call girl in Mumbai. I will make sure our private time together will be amazing.
I am a travel companion, which means I am usually available to accompany you on business trips, formal and informal functions or as a dinner companion. My high-class escort service will give you inspiration and stimulation.'
'I am jovial, open-minded and enjoy cuddles, kisses and sensual play. I hate to rush and prefer taking my time and enjoying everything to the fullest,' is Arya's marketing pitch on her website.
Arya was available on the cellphone number listed on her website, which even has a chat facility, when this reporter contacted her. "Please call me only after booking a hotel room. Other details are available on my website. This is my part time business," she said over the telephone.
The rates range from Rs 10,000 for an hour-long session to Rs 4 lakh for an entire day
Mumbai Police's spokesperson, DCP Rajkumar Vhatkar said stopping the immoral business was the job of the enforcement DCP. "It should be stopped," remarked Vhatkar.
ONE such independent escort told MiD DAY that there were several advantages to working on one's own. She said escort agencies take a cut of the income and have also been subject to several raids by policemen.
"Setting up your own website works better also because you are not answerable to anybody. The chances of raids taking place are very low and all of us blur our faces before uploading the pictures on the website. Besides, you can never establish that personal connection with a client when they come to you through an agency," said the escort.
The number of websites engaged in veiled prostitution which have been forced to shut down by the Mumbai Police in the last two years.
Rs 1,000 cr: Estimated annual turnover of the new sunrise industry
Rs 4 lakh: Cost of engaging the services of an escort for the entire day
These rates were taken from Arya's website:
2 hrs (1 session): Rs 20,000
4 hrs (2 sessions): Rs. 30,000
6 hrs (3 sessions): Rs. 40,000
12 hrs (Full night): Rs. 45,000
24 hrs (Full day): Rs. 50,000