Mangaluru, Mar 20, 2015: The government has earmarked Rs. 1.10 crore towards aiding rehabilitation of sex workers, yet not many have come forward in the district to avail the benefits. As a result, DK DC A.B. Ibrahim on Mar 19. Thursday directed the Women and Child Department as well as two NGOs working for sex workers to conduct a proper survey and identify sex workers as eligible to get the benefits.
Sex workers desiring to give up the trade and starting a new life would be sanctioned a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh aid, including Rs. 30,000 subsidy from the government. The beneficiary has to arrange the remaining funds either on her own or through banks, for which a few banks have come forward, a rehabilitation meet of sex workers revealed here.
While the Hind Kushth Nivaran Sangh (HKNS) covers sex workers in Mangaluru and Belthangadi Taluks, CARDS covers Bantwal, Puttur and Sullia taluks. As CARDS representatives were not present, the HKNS representative informed the meeting that as many as 1,059 sex workers have registered with it. The problem, however, is not many are willing to come out openly to get the benefits.
ID cards : DC A B Ibrahim said that the NGOs could issue ID cards to workers as a majority of them would not be having any documents following their detachment from original families. This would enable them to avail bank loans, he said. The Women and Child Development Department said that six women have come forward to take up alternative vocations. While five of them are keen in doing business in garments, one wants to open a grocery shop. The subsidy amount is yet to be disbursed for want of bank loans.
Sex workers aged between 18 and 45 years, desirous of starting new lives and take up main stream professions, would have to approach any the NGOs in their jurisdiction to get the benefit of the scheme. Alternatively, they can also approach the Women and Child Development Department or the Block Development Officer for application forms, the DC said.