Sex workers are among several sections of the society worst hit by the ongoing lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in India. The sex workers are out of business for over 10 days and left with a cash crunch. This is the same for sex workers across India. Responding to the pathetic situation of them, several organizations are coming forward to help them by providing ration and vegetables.
Voluntary and religious organizations such as RSS, Sikh community in New Delhi distributed vegetables and ration to 200 sex workers in the GB Road area and other parts of the city.
An RSS representative said that a list of over 980 sex workers has been prepared and categorized them into 250 groups. "We distributed 250 kits to these groups. We continue to help sex workers as long as the lockdown period continues. It's the responsibility of the government and society to show them alternative employment opportunity," said the RSS representative.
Sex workers denied ration on credit
Sex workers were denied ration and vegetables on credit, which is adding to the troubles of several hundred individuals who are starving during the lockdown.
"I almost begged a vegetable vendor for few kilos of vegetables on credit. I promised him on payment later once the situation becomes normal. But, the vendor denied. After struggling for few more days, now, we got ration and vegetables from voluntary organizations," said 40-year-old sex worker.
Lending a helping hand
Police officials are also lending the helping hand to sex workers. "However, the help is reaching to only a few of us. Majority of sex workers are staying inside starving for days. As per the government's order, we are staying indoors. We already spent our total savings these days. But without any help from outside, how long we live indoors,? questions a 25-year-old sex worker.
The situation is no different in Sonagachi, a redlight area in Kolkata. Asia's oldest and largest area of prostitution is silently suffering during the lockdown period. The majority of sex workers don't have even masks. They live in cramped rooms of unhygienic conditions, which increases the risk of infection.