COVID19 Crisis : SC Orders Central Government To Provide Food & Money To Sex Workers

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New Delhi : The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the troubles of sex workers during the corona virus epidemic. The court directed the central and all state governments to give monthly dry rations and cash without insisting on presenting proof of identity to them. A bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta said that the issues raised in the PIL filed by an NGO regarding the problems of sex workers need immediate attention.

Due to COVID19 lockdown, a major crisis of employment and livelihood has arisen in front of the small business workers. Now the situation has become a little smooth but this section of society is still facing this problem.

In this era of coronavirus and lockdown, sex workers have faced a major crisis of livelihood. They earn money from customers and due to the risk of coronavirus infection, people have stopped leaving their homes, which has a direct impact on the livelihood of these sex workers.

The bench said, “Advocates appearing on behalf of Additional Solicitor General RS Suri and the State Governments are directed to provide necessary information about the distribution of dry rations and methods of transferring cash to sex workers without providing proof of identity.” 
Anand Grover, a senior advocate from the NGO said that surveys conducted between 1.2 lakh sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana showed that 96% have lost the source of income due to the epidemic.”  Taking cognizance of this serious issue, the Supreme Court has issued an order to the Center. 
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Center to take action under the National Disaster Management Act to provide immediate assistance to them so that their lives can return to normalcy.

A senior advocate appearing on behalf of an NGO said that a survey of sex workers found that 96 per cent of the 1.2 lakh sex workers had no means of livelihood and were unable to earn a living. The crisis of livelihood has arisen in front of them.

The court has ordered the state governments to provide them with dry rations and money. Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the NGO in court, said 96 per cent of the 1.2 lakh sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have lost their livelihood.

The Supreme Court said this while hearing an application of Durbar Women’s Coordinating Committee NGO. This application highlighted the hardships that sex workers are facing due to the corona epidemic. A petition was filed in the court for the relief of 9 lakh sex workers across the country.  Jayant Bhushan, another lawyer appearing on his behalf, told the court that if the ration cards were provided to the sex workers without ID cards, their problem could be solved.

The Kolkata-based NGO said in its argument that under Article 21 of the Constitution, sex workers also have the right to live with dignity in society. They are human beings like others and they also have rights so their problems should be solved immediately.

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