This Durga Puja, the Bengal State Government is doing its bit to see that sex-workers are not relegated to the dark corners of society.
As sex workers age, their incomes become uncertain. The government is starting to take stock of this and their rehabilitation may soon become an active priority.
This year, about 30 sex workers will take charge of the kitchen at the food pavilions that the State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC) will set up at several Puja pandals across Kolkata, as part of the government initiative, the Times of India reported.
The selected sex workers will be trained from Tuesday right up to the Puja week. This will enable them to run the stalls – right from cutting the fish and cooking it to serving the customers.
SFDC managing director Soumyajit Das told the Times of India that this is the first time that such an effort has been taken to bring sex workers to the mainstream. “We are tying up with Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee to select the sex workers. A training programme of a group of 12 sex workers is starting from this week to train them up to Durga Puja to develop their skills to manage the job,” he said to ToI.
And fortunately, this is not a one-off endeavor. These sex workers will be gradually employed in the SDFC fish stalls too.