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Lockdown: Over 60% of sex workers in Delhi return to their home states

3 min read

Over 60% of Delhi’s sex workers have returned to their home states thanks to a loss of means of livelihood amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown that pushed many of them to the brink of starvation.

No one thinks about them they are also human beings. What happened if they are sex workers they have also rights to live a great life like everyone lives. The government should think about them and provide them food and all things which they need.

The fear of contracting the deadly pathogen has kept customers away, leaving a debilitating impact on sex workers within the city.

Kusum, who is president of the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) – a gaggle of sex workers that assists others with legal rights, health issues and Social Security across the country, said over 60% of the sex workers in Delhi have already left for his or her home states.

“The 60% population accounts for around 3,000 sex workers. consistent with government figures, a complete of registered 5,000 sex workers reside in Delhi,” Kusum said.

She said they were forced to go away the town after enduring weeks of the struggle for basic facilities like food and medicines.

Shalini, one such worker, moved back to her village in Uttar Pradesh after living for eight years in Delhi.

“I ran far away from my abusive range in UP at the age of 18. I wanted to be an actress but got into prostitution to survive during this city,” 26-year-old Shalini told PTI.

“After stepping into this business (sex trade), a minimum of I used to be not struggling for food, I used to be not on streets. But ever since the coronavirus outbreak and therefore the lockdown, I even have zero customers and money is dehydration,” she said.

Another sex worker Rajni (name changed) said she and her four-year-old son haven’t eaten properly within the last two months.

“When my son fainted out of weakness fortnight back I made a decision to maneuver back. I even have some relatives in UP who don’t know what I do here. I will be able to stick with them for a few days before deciding what to try to next,” she added.

Sharmila (name changed) who grew up as an orphan on the streets of Kanpur became a sex worker in Delhi five years ago to form ends meet.

“But now there’s no food, no medicines, and no customers. it’s impossible to survive any more in Delhi with the savings that I even have. The social distancing goes to hit our business quite anything so there’s no point staying here,” Sharmila, who is getting to withdraw to Kanpur, said.

Rajni, Sharmila, and Shalini are residents of the Garstin Bastion Road, or more famously GB Road, and now renamed Swami Shradhanand Marg. There are around 100 brothels on the one-kilometer stretch housing approximately 1,500 sex workers.

Activists fear that a lot of those women who were on medication for various diseases, including HIV-AIDS, won’t be ready to get proper treatment in their home towns.

“We feel all the work which we did within the past years for HIV and other diseases would be of no use. Many of them who escaped abusive homes can again become victims of violence. There are many concerns but mostly we are worried about their health,” Kusum said.

She further said that similar migration of sex workers is happening in other cities too.

Amit Kumar, the national coordinator for the AINSW, said the GB Road has completely packed up and most of its residents have returned to their home towns. “We were doing our greatest to supply dry ration, medicines, masks, and sanitizer. We also gave them basic information on HIV treatment,” he said.

Kumar said many of the sex workers visited their homes during Holi but they didn’t return then.

India is currently under the most important lockdown with around 1.3 billion people asked to remain range in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The nationwide lockdown was initially imposed from Annunciation to Pan American Day but was later extended till May 17 to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

The virus has thus far claimed 2,872 lives and infected over 90,000 people within the country.