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PIL in Delhi HC to Take Steps for Protection, Welfare of Sex Workers, LGBT Members During Coronavirus Lockdown

Representative image.

Representative image.

The plea also seeks a direction to the authorities to take steps to exempt them from paying rent and also to set up a separate helpline to counsel them and address their problems during the period of the pandemic.

A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court, seeking direction to the Centre and the AAP government to take steps for protection, social security and welfare measures, including food, accommodation and medicines, for sex workers and the LGBT community during the lockdown.

The plea is scheduled to come up for hearing on Monday before a bench of justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.

The plea seeks effective measures to provide financial aid, food, shelter and medicines to sex workers and LGBT community members in Delhi to ensure their survival during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to constitute a committee for rehabilitation of sex workers.

Petitioner and advocate Anurag Chauhan said the PIL was filed for the welfare of sex workers and members of the LGBT community who do not have access to financial aid during the lockdown.

The plea also seeks a direction to the authorities to take steps to exempt them from paying rent and also to set up a separate helpline to counsel them and address their problems during the period of the pandemic.

The petitioner said he had given a representation to the Delhi chief minister and the lieutenant governor on May 2, highlighting the grievances of the sex workers and the members of the LGBT community but no steps were taken.

"There is no particulars or details found regarding grant of any financial aid and scheme to sex workers and LGBT community people by the Delhi government, despite exercise of due diligence by the petitioner and other people in the society," the plea said.

It said the COVID-19 lockdown has adversely affected all sections of the society, be it rich or poor, and one such section was of sex workers, who are struggling everyday to survive as the present situation has led to a financial crisis and a lack of basic amenities for them.

first published:May 10, 2020, 15:30 IST