Publish lockdown, intercourse staff in Sonagachi reeling beneath debt lure: Survey


By: PTI | Kolkata |

October 30, 2020 2:14:51 pm


Sonagachi, Sonagachi sex workers, Sonagachi covid impact, Sonagachi lockdown impact, Sonagachi sex workers debtsSonagachi is house to round 7,000 residential intercourse staff.

Round 89 per cent of the intercourse staff of Sonagachi Asia’s largest pink gentle space – have fallen into debt lure in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as most of them have taken mortgage in the course of the lockdown as they had been out of enterprise, a survey has revealed.

Carried out by an NGO – Anti Human Trafficking Organisation, the survey revealed that post-pandemic – 73 per cent of the intercourse staff wish to depart the commerce and search for new avenues of earnings however couldnt achieve this as they’ve taken loans from the casual sector, particularly from cash lenders, brothel homeowners, pimps, making themselves weak to additional exploitation.

“Round 89 per cent of intercourse staff in Sonagachi have fallen into debt bondage in the course of the pandemic. Of those, over 81 per cent of them have taken loans from the casual sector, particularly from cash lenders, brothel homeowners, pimps, making themselves weak to additional exploitation. 73 per cent of the intercourse staff wish to depart the intercourse commerce, however will not be ready to take action as a result of large loans they’ve taken to outlive the pandemic,” the survey report mentioned.

Sonagachi is house to round 7,000 residential intercourse staff. Since March, the intercourse staff have been out of enterprise with no supply of earnings. Since July, round 65 per cent enterprise in Sonagachi resumed. About 98 per cent of the intercourse staff had been contacted for the survey.

“Piled up in large money owed, the intercourse staff have nowhere to go. Though the lockdown is now lifted, the ladies can’t keep on work as a result of concern of the contagion. Now could be the time for the state authorities to intervene and assist them carve another plan,” says Tapan Saha, Nationwide Youth President of Anti Human Trafficking Organisation.

A senior official of Durbar – a corporation which works for the welfare of intercourse staff – mentioned the intercourse staff have been reeling beneath immense monetary strain for the reason that starting of the lockdown.

“Solely 65 per cent of the enterprise has resumed, and there’s monetary stress as it’s not enterprise as normal. There was a cooperative financial institution run by intercourse staff, however all of them will not be a part of it, and intercourse staff want cash lenders and pimps for borrowing cash as they don’t want any papers,” an official of Durbar mentioned.

When contacted state Ladies and Baby Improvement minister Sashi Panja mentioned she just isn’t conscious of any such survey however famous that the state authorities had prolonged all type of assist potential to the intercourse staff in the course of the lockdown interval.

“I’m not conscious of such surveys. If the intercourse staff write to us, we will look into it. However the state authorities for the reason that starting of lockdown in March has offered all types of assist, together with offering free ration,” she mentioned.

The survey urged that policymakers, together with the help of NGOs, ought to formulate another livelihood plan for the native intercourse staff to supply reduction as a part of COVID-19 reduction measures. This is able to assist intercourse staff who wish to begin their enterprise get entry to straightforward credit score and collateral-free microfinance alternatives.

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