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Sex Workers in Kolkata to Receive Dry Ration as Part of Initiative on World Food Day

File photo of sex workers attending the all India conference of entertainment workers in Kolkata. (Representative Image/REUTERS)

File photo of sex workers attending the all India conference of entertainment workers in Kolkata. (Representative Image/REUTERS)

Noting that more than 10,000 sex workers of Sonagachi, one of the largest red light areas in Asia, are finding it difficult to make ends meet, State Legal Services Authority member secretary Durga Khaitan said the women are struggling to survive the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), West Bengal, will distribute dry ration among sex workers on October 16, on the occasion of World Food Day, its member secretary Durga Khaitan said on Thursday.

Noting that more than 10,000 sex workers of Sonagachi, one of the largest red light areas in Asia, are finding it difficult to make ends meet, she said the women, with no other source of income, are struggling to survive the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Khaitan also said that the Supreme Court, in a recent order, has directed the states and Union Territories to provide dry ration to all sex workers without insisting on any proof of identity.

“Reportedly around 70 per cent of sex workers in our state are yet to have access to regular ration or food coupon. It is for this reason the SLSA has decided to observe World Food Day by distributing food grains among them," she said, adding that at least 4,000 of them are expected to benefit from the initiative.

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The programme will be inaugurated by Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Judge, Calcutta High Court and executive chairman of SLSA, West Bengal, Khaitan added.

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