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Kolkata sex workers slam Durga Puja ‘tradition’

We don't care if this ritual is obliterated,an incensed prostitute said.

Sex workers of Sonagachi,the largest red light district in the metropolis have once again opposed the ritual of collecting soil from their doorsteps for Durga puja,terming it as a “stigmatisation” of the community.

The ‘ganikalay mitti’ (soil from the doorstep of a brothel) is collected in the belief that a sex worker’s client leaves behind his virtues and therefore the soil available there is fit for worshipping the Goddess and is much sought after before the pujas.

“We have been opposing the practice for the past three to four years. You label us as impure,but claim that the soil from our doorstep is required during puja,” Sikha Gayen,a sex worker and an active member of Durbar Mahila Samannay Committee,the apex NGO of sex workers in West Bengal said.

She said,”We don’t care if this ritual is obliterated.”

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What is the difference between the soil of a sex worker’s doorstep and another person’s? We are opposed to stigmatisation of our girls,” Durbar Secretary Bharati Dey,whose organisation represents about 60,000 sex workers in Kolkata and over two lakh in Bengal said.

Swapna said that it had been conveyed to different red light areas in the state that no one is allowed to collect the soil and some people were also chased away in areas like Durgapur and Krishnapur priests this year.

First published on: 14-10-2010 at 12:42:41 pm
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