Sex Workers Doring Covid – 19
Written By:- Fiza Firdaus Ansari
Sex workers in the Delhi red light areas are facing a financial crisis because of the lockdown with no food and medical facilities. They are demanding help from the government. The lanes of GB Road (Delhi red-light district) are silenced. The lockdown has dried up the earnings of the sex workers.
Covid-19 has impacted every section of society and address without any sort of discrimination. But the society of the marginalized section gets affected the most. According to the National AIDS control organization (NACO), India has close to 37500 sex workers and over 5 Lakh customers visit red-light areas on a daily basis. There are many articles for making aware that government that these sex workers must not be considered as negligible. It is a very serious issue and due to this pandemic, they are facing an enormous number of problems.
social distancing in such areas is next to impossible. In cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, worst affected areas due to covid-19 the sex-workers most operated in areas which are located in jam packed red light areas where social distancing is impossible.
Example: – Delhi GB road has more than 3006 workers and they are house in 80 small Brothels.
Example: – Kolkata Sonagachi, which is referred to as the Nation’s largest red-light area has between 8000-10000 sex workers.
we all know hygiene is very important and due to covid-19, it is really very mandatory to keep hygienic environment. It’s a big challenge because sex workers have limited access to running water and 20 people share one bathroom which is very not hygienic. Brothels really have kitchens and women buy food from vendors the situation is the Same; as in the slum area, the poverty here is at an extreme level. For these women’s the lockdown has meant the loss of their entire ecosystem.
There is a story of a sex worker and she says that she ran away from her abusive home which was in up at the age of 18 and she wanted to become an actress but for survival she got into prostitution and now she is 26 years old and she also says that after getting into this business the sex trade she could at least survive and was not on streets.
But because of this long town now she have zero customers and she is not able to make money. There is no food for the sex workers, one of the sex workers said that they are planning to move back to their previous places because of no money we cannot buy food and the survival will be no longer possible with the savings that they have and no medicines for them which is the very critical matter.
The sex workers are not accepted in the Indian society as the relatives do not want to give any sort of relations to them because they think that it was a lead to a bad impact on the children on their family and it is the statement of most of the sex workers that they are not able to tell their relatives or their family that what they do but for the survival they are planning to visit their relatives at least so that they can eat well which they are not able to get.
About 60% of the sex workers in Delhi return to their home States. After the lockdown, many of the women left for their village but some couldn’t manage to leave. For the Woman Who lives far away from them, the buses and trains are not available and if they walk to their home cities it will talk one year to complete that walk.
Many times the sex workers have faced the kind of violence and even there is care reliable evidence of breast infection or many of the complications of coronavirus among the people living with HIV in all the risks could be greater among those who are immuno-compromised and not on HIV treatment. There are many workers who are facing the problem of chronic sugar blood pressure and it is very clear that the covid-19 impact on the sex workers will lead to a very bad one because these have very low immune systems.
As the fear of the span the make that now they have no money then what about their future it’s a very mental depression full of anxiety and which leads to suicide of many of the sex workers because of no money , no exceptions in society, no medical facilities and no support from the government. Existing mental health problems are likely to be exacerbated by anxiety over income, food and housing.
No Support From The Government
there is no support from the government because the Government of India believes that there is no prostitution in India that’s why the NGOs and civil society are fulfilling the basic needs including food, access to medication during the lockdown and medication therapy for treating HIV age is all done by them.
And it’s a further the concern of the sex workers for the future also because the government policy has been made like there will be no opening of the red light areas in the near future because resources including those from Yale School of medicine in the US said closing down these places of sex work may reduce the project is covid-19 death in India.
We all understand that there is no need to open the brothels but there is a need to resolve these critical conditions of the sex workers with no food, no proper medication, and no money in their hands. Government shirts come up with alternative livelihood options for sex workers.