- During COVID lockdown, Shakti Foundation helped sex workers with ration
- To generate a source of income, Shakti Foundation started skill training
- Sex workers were trained to stitch masks, bags, raincoats and other items
Surat: While the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown led to many people losing their source of income, a Surat-based NGO has come forward to support the sex workers in the region and to provide them skill-training. Apart from rations and other essentials, the NGO also ensures that the sex workers earn their livelihood in a more respectful manner. Shakti Foundation, which has been working for nine years for the upliftment and empowerment of tribal women, took the initiative after coming to know of the problems being faced by them.
We got to know of the bad condition of sex workers in Surat during the coronavirus crisis and the lockdown. We first helped them with rations, but since they would have no source of income for the coming days too that is why we started giving them skill training. We trained them in stitching and the first batch has 50 women who stitch khadi masks, bags, raincoats, kurtis, etc, Dr Sonal Rochani, founder, Shakti Foundation told ANI here.
She further said that the goal is to provide skill training to as many needy workers as possible.
The sex workers at the centre run by the NGO expressed gratitude towards the organisation for the initiative and said they are attempting to make a turnaround in their lives.
One of those receiving the skill training said,
I was forced to work as a sex worker because my husband did not support me. I am the sole earner for my kids and my family, but the corona crisis really hit us hard.
She, however, added that, “The initiative is helping us in this difficult time but I do not think I can quit being a sex worker as I can barely manage my expenses in Rs 7,000-8,000. I have to educate my two children, pay rent, and look after other family members also.”
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.