City's sex workers aspire for life free of violence

Activists say while the state govt  is taking steps to empower these women, the task isn’t easy, as they don’t have proper documentation

Sex workers often face problems while trying to draw benefits of government schemes. They don’t have proper documents, as their agents does not give them the papers, or these women leave their homes with nothing in hand.

Pankaj Bedi from the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) said, “We have demanded that these sex workers should be given all the facilities like ration cards, Aadhaar cards as well as the required security.”

Bedi added, “We feel that these workers are excluded from many government schemes, as they don’t have proper residential proof, etc. So, we worked with the government to find an equitable solution, where all these people will also be benefited.

For the first time, the government has recognised sex workers as citizens, and is ready to give them the advantages.”

Problems for Aadhaar

Even after a drive at Budhwar Peth to give Aadhaar cards to sex workers, very few of them have actually got the identification facility.

Tejaswi Sevekari, who is the director of Saheli, a community-based group from Pune, had earlier said, “It is very difficult to get Aadhaar cards for these women, as their documents are not clear. They don’t have adequate address proof.

Of the 3,500 such workers here, only about 100 have got the cards. Women from Maharashtra get these cards, as their police verification is easier than for those from outside Maharashtra.”

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