New Delhi (India), March 7: Goa is the synonym for happiness and fun. People from all walks of life come to relax on the white-sand beaches and enjoy the nightlife. But away from the shimmering lights and clean streets, in the shadows, a sordid trade in trafficking young women is thriving. No one can stop it. And if anyone is foolish enough to try, he puts his life at risk. A Virus on the Beach, written by Subhuti Anand, exposes the harsh reality of Goa’s sex trafficking industry, which government reports confirm is now the biggest in India.
Two young trafficked women, one from Nagaland and one from Nepal, meet a British tourist on the beach during the pandemic lockdown and seek his help in escaping their grim fate. Sucked into a world of criminals, gangsters and female escorts, the tourist finds himself taking increasingly desperate measures, including violence and killing.
Subhuti Anand is a former political journalist who worked in the British House of Parliament. He came to India in 1976 to meet the controversial mystic Osho, then known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. In March 2020, Subhuti chose to remain in Goa during the nationwide lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Defying the curfew, Subhuti walked every morning on Candolim beach, and there he met two young women from North East India who had been working in a spa hotel in Calangute. It was their story that inspired Subhuti to write the novel, A Virus on the Beach. Through the book, he wants to draw the world’s attention to the way thousands of women are trafficked in India by gangs who enjoy near immunity from prosecution. It is a work of fiction reflecting a brutal reality.
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