February 28, 2009 3:00:13 am
Bonnie Chowdhury,19,worked in a photo laboratory till she became a sex worker.
She was mentally and physically abused by her mother for being a eunuch. When she tried to poison her,Bonnie ran away from home and since then lives on Burrabazar,working as a sex worker. There are many more like her deserted by their families.
They attended the five-day conference on sex workers rights,which began in Kolkata on Friday.
Pinky Sikdar,in her thirties,has come from Bangladesh to discuss strategies to fight for their across the continent. According to Sikdar,who heads the Bandhan Hijra Organisation in Bangladesh,despite being recently granted the right to vote in Bangladesh,her community members are subjected to humility and abuse.
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Since we are considered neither female nor male,we are treated like untouchables. We do not have access to proper treatment because private hospitals often refuse to admit us, said Sikdar.
There are equally marginalised in West Bengal,especially those involved in sex trade,who are often exploited by the police and public.
There is no other option for us than to go for sex trade or dance on the streets to earn our living. If we report any abuse to the police,they dismiss us saying we do not come under any law, said Dona Guria (22) from Kolkata.
According to Sanjana,being a eunuch and in the sex profession is considered as a double taboo.
In my childhood,I used to wait for the dark before stepping out of my house. Today,I do not care. When people pass comments we ignore and pray that the government recognises us someday, said Dona.
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