November 01, 2005

Poll shows many Indians want prostitution legalized

...but will New Delhi listen? Now listen to vote Delhi says.

Delhi spoke, and how. No less than 91% respondents to our poll want prostitution legalised. Are the authorities listening?

Cramped rooms, dimly-lit staircases and the business of living. Five days ago, we went to the red light area of the city — GB Road — and met the sex-workers who are fighting poverty and AIDS while they live on the fringes of society.

They are demanding legalisation of prostitution, not just for themselves but also for their children. "Atleast, I will be able to give my 10-year-old daughter a respectable life," says Sadamma, a 35-year-old sex worker who is HIV positive.

We brought the plea of scores like her to the public forum. The start was made in Mumbai where 84.4 per cent people came out in the support of legalising prostitution in the 8888 poll.

But it was Delhi where the results were truly staggering. No less than 91 per cent people want prostitution legalised. The figures in the 8888 poll say it all... Delhi is hankering for a change.

"Awareness has to be created about the issue. After all, it's a matter of life and death. This campaign has to be built up with a vengeance," says entrepreneur Kalyani Chawla.

And it all begins with the rehabilitation of the sex workers. "To control AIDS, these women need to be a part of the mainstream society. Only then can health and welfare schemes for them be launched," says anchor Roshni Chopra.

Adman Dilip Cherian emphasises that when prostitution is formalised "the set of rules should be simple. Also, awareness needs to be spread about the health and economic problems of these people."

Posted by Kyer at November 1, 2005 07:30 PM | TrackBack