Pilot project shines a light on sex workers’ rehabilitation

CHENNAI: Rehabilitating sex workers has long been a vexing i rolex watches for sale ssue for concerned citizens and police makers. A successful pilot rolex watches for sale programme by Y R Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (CARE) that has benefited over 75 sex workers in Chennai could offer a model. “The project could be explored for scaling up,” said Shanthanu Chatterjee, a member of a panel set up by the Supreme Court to recommend possible pathways toward sex worker rehabilitation.

Termed the ‘Pi Bags’ programme, the YRG Care venture trains sex workers and women from vulnerable environments to stitch a variety of bags which are then exported and marketed in the US. Each bag maker benefits as a percentage of the proceeds from the sale goes to them directly. The products include tote bags, yoga mat bags, lunch and wine bags. “We began the project in 2005 in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University who provided us technical expertise and also ensure there’s a continuous market. We have a mission statement attached to each bag that states the proceeds go to the women who make the bags,” said C Sethulakshmi, manager, community out rolex watches for sale reach services, YRG Care.

The group zeroed in on the idea of each woman owning her own enterprise from exit surveys conducted during the conclusion of an earlier project to empower HIV positive women. “We wanted to understand their interests and how to a rolex watches for sale rrive at a sustainable livelihood option. If they were engaged in candle or soap making, there would not be a ready market for it,” she said.

The programme is helping to supplement sex workers’ income so that they could choose to have lesser partners and reduce their risk on a daily basis. With a potential to earn Rs 200 to 300 a month, the women would be able to say no’ to sex work in the long run.

“Currently, we work on flexi hours as women come in at timings that are convenient to them, depending on the requirement for products. We have trained a core of about 75 women and intend to scale up. We are now trying to sell the products in India,” said research manager A K Sreekrishnan.

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