Sex workers with dignity – The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee – Sonagachi, Kolkata, India

Sex workers with dignity – The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee – Sonagachi, Kolkata, India

They told me you will earn good money, you will eat well and you wont need anyones help So I said ok So at that time they took me to the Gorakhpur red light aria When I went there I did not know who was a sex worker, and what did job consisted in But they explained me everything After hearing I said yes, I will do this only. I will do this but i wont go back home So i came into this work After coming I realized how dangerous it all was, and how much violence it brought with it. They sent me to a factory in Sibpur, a place in Horwrah district There the threatened me that if I didn’t become a sex worker they wouldn’t give me money At that time, i was around 20-22 years old Here in Avinash Clinic we work as PR educators When the Durbar Samity did not exist a lot of violence was done on us sex workers Some men would not give us money or they would beet us up if we did not agree to be with them. The police also did not hear our complains. When we went to them they would send us away. They would say, these things happen in red light arias, let it go. No body would hear what we had got to say the ability to enforce condoms by their clients was almost nil or non-existent Pain comes when you are unaware When the Durbar Samity did not exist, sex workers had a lot of pain We used to think, ok, we have come into this work, the society thinks badly of us, what ever is happening, let it happen. But why? Because the sex workers did not know what where their rights. at first patients when came they are not oriented about this STD and treatment and about what we are dealing with and they where not oriented about condom use. So after that we gave them the demonstrations And we told them what type of sexual disease happens here and what is HIV and what may be the results and after that it took few years to overcome the situation and now this is a stage when patient are able to know what is going on and what is the use of condoms. They come here to take the condoms and
regular they come here for regular medical check up after three months and whenever there is any STD or any sexual disease problem, they have medicines from here The work we do with the sex workers First we make them understand that we do the same work then we make them understand that it is our task to look that you don’t get infections We tell them to come with us to test their blood Then we explain them the importance of condom use And explain them not to work without it even if they offer more money discrimination by almost all the service providers as well as
government department and administration make them cripple and push them to live at the corner of the society so to fight against stigma and discrimination,
to establish her identity as a woman, as a worker just like any other worker in our society has in immense role in establishing herself and her rights in the society also while addressing this very important issue
the project was able it was able to empower the local sex workers to work for their legal rights the rights and issues which we are fighting for now
are a fight of a group whatever we are doing is for the group, and that makes us happy. And there is a joy in this. from that point of view they came as an organization,
as collective in 1995 and since 1997 onward the HIV level remains stable till 2007 and now it is declining the benefits we are having after the establishment of Durbar is that whatever issues and problems come before us now are resolved the things that I was not able to understood, to be able to make the other understand till they are on time, this makes me happy So that pain i went through, they dont have to go though And to be able to bring out from pain the ones who already are Thats my effort of explaining them and staying behind them. these models have been replicated in neighboring country like Bangladesh with resounding success among the sex workers of both, in brothel settings as well as in strict settings now it has been replicated outside India like in South Africa Subtitles by the community

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