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Banish stereotypes against children of sex workers

Yesterday, this paper ran a front page report about a sex worker's daughter, Sheetal Jain. Sheetal was born to a sex worker in Kamathipura, and since she was a child, she was taught that a sex worker’s daughter could end up only in the flesh trade. She had also lived most of her life in the red-light district of Kamathipura.

Yet, the spunky teenager never let adversity cow her down. Thanks to an NGO called Kranti that discovered her, Sheetal tapped into her latent talent for music, practicing drumming and never gave up dreaming big. With the help of the NGO, she applied for a year-long diploma to the US Drum School in Washington DC; was selected for it, and is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime on September 16.

In the report, Sheetal admits to facing a lot of violence and discrimination in her life and says there are many children like her, children of sex workers who are regularly discriminated against. The violence, overt and covert, could crush a lesser spirit. The report shows the importance of giving these children a chance in life. More NGOs, and in fact, not just NGOs, but corporates and individuals too must make an effort to give an avenue to children like these and unfortunate and underprivileged kids everywhere.

So many corporates are giving back to society through initiatives like CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility. As individuals, one may not have the money or resources, to help in the way organisations can, but one can take small steps. Banishing stereotypes and discrimination against children of sex workers itself goes a long way in helping them find a better life. A childhood marked by violence and stigma is one that stays with the individual for years. So, people must make a conscious effort to be more accepting of differences and not view children of sex workers with a jaundiced eye. If you cannot give them an avenue, even acceptance and understanding is enough. Let us take that first step and pave the way towards a better future, so that these kids too, dare to dream.

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