Court directs rehabilitation of sex workers

Satyasundar Barik

  • Calls for immediate provision of basic amenities
  • Sees need for conduct of awareness camps

    BHUBANESWAR: Here is good news for sex workers residing at Malisahi in the city. The Orissa High Court has directed that commercial sex workers will not be evicted from the area without proper rehabilitation.

    A Division Bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Sujit Baran Roy and Justice M.M. Das directed the State Government to take immediate steps to rehabilitate the commercial sex workers residing at Malisahi by providing basic amenities like water supply and electricity.

    Health care

    The court also asked the administration to conduct awareness camps to make them aware of their constitutional rights, provide minimum education to their children and give them alternative accommodation. The sex workers must be provided with proper health care so as to prevent spread of AIDS, the court said in a recent order.

    The sex workers of the locality on Saturday welcomed High Court's decision. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) should not make things delay to comply the court order and implement welfare programmes in Malisahi, they demanded at a press conference.

    Sex workers of Malisahi filed an intervener application on the original writ petition filed by a voluntary organisation, Orissa Patita Udhar Samiti, in 1998.

    It was prayed that the sex workers, being victims of circumstances like extreme poverty or having been forced by abductors to take up such activities, should not be disturbed till they were rehabilitated, counsellor for sex workers Bibhu Prasad Tripathy said. In its interim order in 1998, the court directed the Director of Social Welfare to verify if sex workers were residing at Malisahi on encroached land and ensure that they were not evicted without proper rehabilitation. However, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation filed an application seeking vacation of the stay order passed by the High Court, Mr. Tripathy said.

    At receiving end

    Reprimanding the State Government for not furnishing details on steps taken to rehabilitate sex workers, the Division Bench said: "In spite of such specific direction, though this matter is pending before the court from the year 1998, no counter affidavit whatsoever has been filed on behalf of the State." Quoting from the judgement of Gaurav Jain case of the Apex court extensively, the High Court said: "We are not sure as to whether the State of Orissa in compliance to the observations or directions made by the Supreme Court, has taken appropriate steps for evolving procedures and principles to ensure that the fallen women also enjoy their fundamental rights."

  • Courtesy: http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/24/stories/2006122415190300.htm

    Dec 24, 2006


    Rehabilitation of sex workers sought

    Jan 10, 2008

    HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samakhya has demanded launch of self-employment scheme of small trades each costing Rs.1 lakh by the government for the benefit of sex workers freed from dens in Pune and New Delhi, a majority of them belonging to the State. Special Correspondent