September 4th, 2017
The West Bengal state government has decided to include sex workers in the celebration of Durga Pujas, the biggest festival of Bengalis in and outside India.
As per The Times of India reports, about 30 sex workers would be taking charge of the kitchen at the food pavilions that the State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC) will set up at several Puja pandals across the city, as part of the government initiative.
12 selected sex workers will be given training starting from 5 September up to the Puja week so that they can run the stalls. Training will be provided on cutting the raw fish to packing/cooking and frying various fish items and finally serving the customers. The food pavilions at will open as the pandals get inaugurated.
Speaking to The Times of India, SFDC Managing Director, Soumajit Das said, “This is the first time that such an endeavour has been taken to bring sex workers to the mainstream. We are tying up with Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee to select the sex workers.”
Das clarified that this is going to be a continuous process where sex workers would be slowly incorporated to work in the SFDC stalls.
This initiative of the state government is not just aimed at women empowerment but also at rehabilitating those sex workers who have aged and do not have proper income from their profession.
The Logical Indian community appreciates this endeavour of the West Bengal government that aims at bringing the sex workers into the mainstream society. It is well-known that they lead a difficult life – one that is stigmatised by the society. The initiative by the state government, if executed efficiently, is sure to make a difference in the lives of the sex workers. We sincerely hope that this initiative sets a precedent for much more such positive steps, thereby conditioning people towards accepting those in the periphery into the society.