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Report on The Present Situation of CSW in India

The basic education department of Uttar Pradesh would provide free and compulsory education up to class 8 to children of sex workers on the pattern of West Bengal. The officials of the basic education department said that according to the orders of Basic Shiksha Parishad and the Supreme Court, even the children of sex workers below the age of 14 years would be given free and compulsory education. The officials of the department of every district in the state were asked to identify such children through a survey. (Mitra, N.2012)
All the sex workers were immigrants to the city and the kind of family support they received, varied according to their background. The Devdasis received more family support in raising their children. The differences in socio-behavioral characteristics and practice patterns between Devadasis and other female sex workers have been documented (Blanchard JF et al, 2005). [[In a survey conducted under the Sonagachi project in Calcutta, half of the children were being raised in the brothel where some mothers were paying the older sex workers to raise their children, while others were arranging makeshift créches when working. Many of the children were being raised outside the brothels, either with the family or in an orphanage. In this survey, less than 5% children were being raised in an NGO or government run hostel. Ninety percent of the women were financing their children. A high proportion of children in our study were in the native place or in institutions. This can be attributed to the large number of Devdasis in the study sample and the fact that a local NGO was running a residential school for these children. In addition, the peer workers along with another NGO based in the red light area, were motivating and helping the sex workers get the children admitted to schools (Pardeshi G et al, 2006).

The basic education department took the help of voluntary and non-government organizations (NGOs), who identified certain areas in every district of the state and provided necessary inputs about the children. There is a list provided to basic education department of the district. It includes 144 families. These families were identified by NGOs (Mitra, N.2012). Mothers need to realize the importance of keeping children away from the trade. They must also be informed of government programs and learn to value education. A cooperative effort must be undertaken by government and nongovernmental organizations and organizations of prostitutes to improve the future for these children (Das, D.1991)

An official of basic education department said that all the families enlisted in the survey were sex workers. The official also claimed that most of the children of the enlisted families were already getting education. Basic shiksha adhikari Rakesh Kumar said that earlier, the department had focussed on bringing children of weaker section of the society to schools. This includes labourers working on roadside dhabas, restaurants, small-scale industrial units, etc. Now, on the orders of the Supreme Court, children of sex workers will also get free education. (Mitra, N.2012)

The BSA further informed that that all the enlisted 144 families in the survey belonged to 'Rajkiya Unnayan Basti' and 'Bhannanapurva Basti' in Chamanganj. During the survey, nearly 90 per cent kids of 80 families of 'Rajkiya Unnayan Basti' were found getting education. However, some families were not having any kids and some families were having kids above 14 years of age. The survey was conducted in the second fortnight of January (Mitra, N.2012).

"We found that most of the kids in Rajkiya Unnayan Basti were getting education. However, two children of seven and nine years were not going to schools. We admitted them to the nearby basic school," Kumar added. Kumar said that the basic education department would provide free, books, food and school dress to such children (Mitra, N.2012). Health, nutrition, sanitation and recreational facilities should be improved. Free and compulsory education should be imparted up to higher secondary level. They should be provided vocational training. Mass awareness campaigns for positive attitudinal development, comprehensive rehabilitation programmes, and intensified administrative and legal action with involvement of influential people and voluntary organizations, could prove very constructive in reducing the evil effects of this profession on the children of sex workers (Anandraj, Hannah. 2000).

In 2005, children of sex workers from Kolkata’s Sonagachi red-light district formed their own collective, Amra Padatik (‘We are Foot Soldiers’), to work for gaining dignity for their mothers and claiming their own rights as children of sex workers. Sircar and Dutta speak to AP’s founder members to demystify the culture of fear associated with their lives — perpetuated through popular representations — not to underplay their acute experiences of disadvantage (Sircar, O. Dutta, D. 2011).