The Bharatiya Patita Uddhar Sabha, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the cause of uplifting sex workers in the country, has opened a small evening school for sex workers in the red light area G.B.Road in Old Delhi.
Being run from a brothel room following non-availability of required space, the six days a week school is aimed at providing primary education to sex workers' children.
"The organisation is also providing free books, schoolbags and other basic faciilties to these kids. Presently, there are 24 children studying at this special evening school which operates from 6.00 p.m to 10.00 p.m. The strength is likely to increase in the coming days," said Khairati Lal Bhola, the President of Bharatiya Patita Uddhar Sabha.
"BPUS is already running two permanent schools for sex workers' children in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi and Allahabad cities since 1995 and 1996 respectively. A part of funds being provided by Central Social Welfare Board under Ministry of Women and Child Development and by private donations. The other two temporary schools are being run from brothel rooms in Surat (Gujarat) and Mumbai's Kamatipura (Maharashtra) since 1998 and 2000," Bhola informed.
Besides, the NGO is running a project since April, 2008 in which sex workers are given vocational training for five days a week (2.00 to 4.00 p.m). The training will enable them to take up an alternative profession.
The organisation has promised to provide sewing machines and monetary help to any of the sex workers on completion of this half-yearly training, if she is eager to quit her profession.
During a meeting of its working committe on Wednesday (Dec.31), Bharatiya Patita Uddhar Sabha thanked P.K.Datta, a trustee of the Abhayadan Trust, for gifting the BPUS a Rs.300,000 medical mobile van in April for the cause of sex workers, widows and destitute women.
"The mobile Maruti van is stationed at the G.B Road near the police post for five days (Monday to Friday) from 1.00 p.m to 4.00 p.m. Sex workers can avail free homeopathic treatment from this van. Since May, 2008, it has benefitted about 5,000 patients with free medical service," said Khairati Lal Bhola, a national awardee in the serivce of sex workers.