International Sex Workers Day : Invisible, unheard and uncounted

June 3, 2021

/ By and / New Delhi

In a country where the word ‘sex’ still remains a taboo, commercial sex work is a surprisingly large business, with estimated annual revenues of over USD 8 billion and involves two million sex workers living in about 275,000 brothels. One of the largest unorganised sectors in India, it thrives on bodies of the invisible, uncounted and unheard.

Based in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, Snehalaya is a pioneer in working with commercial sex workers and their children, especially those who are HIV infected. Girish Kulkarni founded Snehalaya in 1989 and since then he has been trying to provide all-round assistance to the sex workes and their children, including shelter, a school, vocational training for the workers and their children as well a retirement home for the gravely ill.

Kulkarni tells Media India Group on why the lot of sex workers and their children in India can not improve unless there is a radical change in societal approach.