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Sex workers of Asia’s largest red light area in crisis amid pandemic

Sex workers of Asia’s largest red light area in crisis amid pandemic

Kolkata: Round 89 in step with cent of the intercourse employees of Sonagachi – Asia’s greatest pink gentle space – have fallen into debt entice all the way through the COVID-19 pandemic as maximum of them have taken mortgage all the way through the lockdown as they have been into chapter 11, a survey has printed.

Performed by way of an NGO – Anti Human Trafficking Organisation, the survey printed that post-pandemic – 73 in step with cent of the intercourse employees need to depart the industry and search for new avenues of source of revenue however couldn’t achieve this as they’ve taken loans from the casual sector, particularly from cash lenders, brothel house owners, pimps, making themselves prone to additional exploitation.

“Round 89 in step with cent of intercourse employees in Sonagachi have fallen into debt bondage all the way through the pandemic. Of those, over 81 in step with cent of them have taken loans from the casual sector, particularly from cash lenders, brothel house owners, pimps, making themselves prone to additional exploitation. 73 in step with cent of the intercourse employees need to depart the intercourse industry, however don’t seem to be in a position to take action because of the large loans they’ve taken to live to tell the tale the pandemic,” the survey document stated.

Sonagachi is house to round 7,000 residential intercourse employees. Since March, the intercourse employees were into chapter 11 with out a supply of source of revenue. Since July, round 65 in step with cent trade in Sonagachi resumed. About 98 in step with cent of the intercourse employees have been contacted for the survey.

2019/04/30: Intercourse employees all the way through a rally at Sonagachi. (Photograph by way of Avishek Das/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures)

“Piled up in large money owed, the intercourse employees have nowhere to head. Even supposing the lockdown is now lifted, the ladies can not elevate on paintings because of the concern of the contagion. Now’s the time for the state govt to intrude and assist them carve another plan,” says Tapan Saha, Nationwide Formative years President of Anti Human Trafficking Organisation.

A senior legitimate of Durbar – a company which goes for the welfare of intercourse employees – stated the intercourse employees were reeling below immense monetary drive because the starting of the lockdown.

“Best 65 in step with cent of the trade has resumed, and there may be monetary tension as it’s now not trade as same old. There used to be a cooperative financial institution run by way of intercourse employees, however they all don’t seem to be a part of it, and intercourse employees desire cash lenders and pimps for borrowing cash as they do not want any papers,” an legitimate of Durbar stated.

When contacted state Girls and Kid Construction minister Sashi Panja stated she isn’t acutely aware of this kind of survey however famous that the state govt had prolonged all kind of assist imaginable to the intercourse employees all the way through the lockdown duration.

“It’s not that i am acutely aware of such surveys. If the intercourse employees write to us, we will glance into it. However the state govt because the starting of lockdown in March has equipped all forms of assist, together with offering unfastened ration,” she stated.

The survey instructed that policymakers, together with the enhance of NGOs, must formulate another livelihood plan for the native intercourse employees to supply reduction as a part of COVID-19 reduction measures. This may assist intercourse employees who need to get started their challenge get get entry to to simple credit score and collateral-free micro finance alternatives.

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