Amid the innumerable losses and disparities caused by the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, the sex workers of the famous Garstin Bastion (GB) Road, Delhi, are being provided relief services by NGOs working together to aid the plight of these sex workers.
Distress Management Collective India (DMCI), an NGO led by Keralites in Delhi, has decided to buy masks from the sex workers who have been rehabilitated by another NGO, Kat-Katha.
The pandemic has led to many sex workers becoming jobless, struggling to sustain themselves or their families to even be able to survive. While the situation has led some of them to entertain clients for a meagre sum of ₹ 50-100 too, a few have decided to leave their jobs, according to Gitanjali Babbar, the founder of Kat-Katha.
Babbar's NGO has been working towards the rehabilitation of sex workers for over a decade by providing them with alternative employment opportunities and training them for different jobs of their interests.
Babbar explained that the lockdown has led to the highest number of rehabilitated sex workers. "Rehabilitation of sex workers can't be done in a few days; it would take three or four years. Post-lockdown, 23 women sex workers have come out of the brothels in GB Road. We will have to train them and provide them with alternative livelihoods. Otherwise, they would return to the kotha (brothel)," said Babbar as reported by The Times Of India.
She believes that training them to make masks would be the most resourceful solution with respect to the current times. She also added that if more people buy the masks made by these women, it would be a great help for their rehabilitation.
In Kat-Katha's goal to rehabilitate these sex workers, the NGO DCMI has decided to help them by offering them a consignment of 30,000 masks that would be sent to Kerala.
These sex workers who fall under the informal sector have been drastically hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. They have not been a focus group either for the central or the state governments schemes. As a result, no help or relief was availed by them during these dire times.
Majority of them have been forced into prostitution after being a victim of human trafficking, as per the last Human Trafficking data recorded by the National Crime Records Bureau.
In such dire times, the struggle for survival is quite difficult for these sex workers. The help coming from NGOs is a much-needed step that will allow them to deal with the pandemic situation.
Also read: This NGO In Tamil Nadu Has Rescued Children, Women From Clutches Of Trafficking, Domestic Abuse