‘No one voices our rights’

Many believes the election process is an expression of a voice that has been suppressed all these years.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: December 5, 2013 2:49 am

On December 4,while Delhi was abuzz with political activity,a little corner in Old Delhi stood still. Issues of women’s security and inflation seemed to have little resonance on G B Road.

Over 1,500 sex workers have been given voter ID cards. However,as they awaited their turn at the G B Road polling booth,each woman stood with her face hidden. The card is an identity but the stigma attached to their occupation has not been addressed by any political party.

“Every party has declared their plans for various communities in the city but none of them have a single line in their manifestoes about what they will do for us,” a 35-year-old sex-worker says.

“It does not matter which party comes to power. None of them have come to our help in the past. We have no medical benefits and children do not get proper schooling. What will they do for us now?” she asks.

She may not believe in the system,but for her,the election process is an expression of a voice that has been suppressed all these years.

“I ran away from my home in Pune in search of a job at the age of 15. I was sold four times and I am now looking after 25 girls. Police trouble us — they drag us out of here and target us. Why should they treat us like this? Don’t we have any rights?” another sex worker asks.

While no party made an attempt to take up their cause,the Election Commission held camps in G B Road to enrol the sex workers as voters.

An EC official said,“They are afraid of exercising their rights as they get beaten up by pimps,who fear that they might run away.”

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