DHANANJAY MAHAPATRA IN THE TIMES OF INDIA
NEW DELHI: Sex workers from the city’s redlight district, GB Road, are mostly from outside, illiterate, belong to SC, ST or OBC community, have no voter identity cards or ration cards and want to be rehabilitated, the Delhi government informed the Supreme Court.
“The women in prostitution expressed hope that if they are properly rehabilitated, their next generation will definitely not follow them and will prefer to come out of this trade,” the government’s affidavit said. Contrary to the apex court’s Tuesday order discarding the affidavits of the states as non-serious documents , the Sheila Dikshit government appears to have done some work in finding out possible ways and means to rehabilitate the GB Road sex workers and initiate beneficial schemes.
The government through counsel Wasim A Qadri told the court about a study done with the help of NGO Shakti Vahini and the interaction it had with sex workers operating from GB Road brothels on May 27 to assess the educational background, interest towards vocational training for rehabilitation, possible future employment and their inclusion in the social mainstream.
“The meeting found the women in prostitution complaining about discrimination they face in daily life. They complained about being treated as criminals even though they are victims,” said the affidavit, which was filed by director of women and child development department , Rajiv Kale. “As almost all of them are from other states, they do not possess voter identity cards issued by government of Delhi. Many them belong to the SC/ST/ OBC category but do not have any documentary evidence to substantiate their claim,” the department said. As most of them were illiterate, training options could not be worked out in the meeting, it added.
“In the absence of below poverty line (BPL) ration cards, they are deprived of availing the benefits of various schemes provided by the government for such category of citizens like access to foodgrains under public distribution system, special housing scheme etc,” it said.
It said the government was ready to work towards rehabilitation of women in prostitution in collaboration with credible NGOs working in the field who could assist in the identification of such women willing to come out of it.
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