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Since 1st March, 1999
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Schools call sex workers’children

Ranchi, April 16: The light of learning will now shine equally on them.

Children of sex workers in the state capital have got an opportunity to go to schools, courtesy a non-governmental organisation.

As a part of its rehabilitation programme, Lok Swar, an NGO working for sex workers, have enrolled these kids in state-run schools to connect them with the children of the mainstream society.

A survey carried out by Lok Swar has identified 100 children of sex workers in Ranchi. The NGO has admitted around 20 of them, in the age group of four to six, into schools.

“The kids are doing very well in their studies and studying like any other children without being subjected to any kind of discrimination,” said secretary of Lok Swar Shalini Samvedena, adding that she had protected their identity while admitting them into the schools.

The secretary said the sex workers needed much convincing to send their wards to the schools. “Initially, they were quite hesitant as they were not sure how the kids would be accepted by the society. But we made them understand and finally, they agreed,” she said.

And now after getting positive response, more sex workers are willing to enrol their children in schools.

The NGO has also come up with various rehabilitation schemes for women in the flesh trade. “We have formed self-help groups for them and are helping them to establish contacts with banks so that they can start their own business. Besides, we are going to start vocational courses for them on jewellery designing, embroidery and sewing from next month,” the secretary added.

“Initially, we will be training 30 sex workers identified in Ranchi. Our aim is to make these women a role model for other sex workers. In the second phase, we will impart vocational training to another 30 women after identifying them,” she added.

As part of the rehabilitation programme, the NGO is also spreading awareness about AIDS in association with Jharkhand State AIDS Control Society in Khunti, Simdega and Ranchi. “We are educating the women about AIDS and are encouraging them to undergo blood test” she added.

However, the secretary rued that the state social welfare board and district administration had not come forward to help them in this rehabilitation drive despite repeated requests.

Secretary of Jharkhand State Social Welfare Board A.K. Bhattacharya said: “We are looking in the matter so that all required help is provided to the NGO in near future.”

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