Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
On 15 August, Nagpur Police sealed the roads leading to 'Ganga Jamuna' — the city's 200-year-old Red Light area. Thousands of sex workers took to the streets, protesting against the sealing — even as the cops imposed Section 144 in the area.
Almost one week later, the cops banned prostitution in the area under the Prevention of Immoral Tracking Act. Sex workers in the area are calling for a reversal of the ban, asserting that it affects not just their livelihood but also their children's future.
"We don't have money to pay fees for our children. With Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month, how can one run the family? There are over 25 people in one family. How do we eat? We have not eaten for the last five days. We have been sitting hungry, and have even fallen sick," said a sex worker, speaking to The Quint.
Others asked why was the ban put in place when sex workers in the area have been engaged in their work for more than two centuries in the area.
"We don't go into anyone's house. We don't come in the way of anyone. The cops have raided our roads and have sealed them. How do we make a new road? Is there any option for us?"Sex Workers, Ganga Jamuna
On Child Trafficking Allegations
As per the Nagpur Police, 109 minors have been arrested in the area in the last 10 days — forcing the Nagpur Police to put a ban on prostitution.
While sex workers say that an investigation has to be launched with regard to child sex allegations, but they should be allowed to continue their work.
"We have a right over these houses. We have the registry. We pay tax. So, the question of rehabilitation doesn't arise. Before this injustice, if they had asked us to understand nicely about rehabilitation, then we might have even gone. But now, the question of rehabilitation doesn't arise. My mothers and sisters will not move from here."Jwala Dhote, NCP Leader and Social Worker
'Only Demand Is to Unseal the Place'
Sex workers seek a reversal of the ban — if not for them, for their children.
"Our life is spoilt. But we don't want the life of our children to be spoilt. Our demand, our only demand is that our neighborhood should be unsealed."Sex Worker, Ganga Jamuna
"Sex work has been practised as a profession for over 2,000 years. Where were the cops and the government then," another sex worker told The Quint.
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