Food is the basic necessity of life and following the Covid-19 lockdown, lakhs of sex workers rendered jobless and without an alternate source of livelihood.
The Supreme Court has asked the center if something could be immediately provided to them in the exercise of its powers under the National Disaster Management Act.
It has also given a week for the State Government to respond to providing them free ration.
“This is a human problem. People are not getting ration for want of ration cards. They are under severe distress.”, the bench of Justices LN Rao and Hemant Gupta said.
Darbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee filed an application that said, “After the nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, 2020, there was no work and no income. During April and May, sex workers scrimped through their meager savings or took loans at exorbitant interest rates to survive. Most were dependent on the charity provided by individuals and philanthropic organizations.”
“Food is the most critical need of sex workers as an assessment conducted in five states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu shows that only 52 percent of 1.2 lakh sex workers are receiving ration through the public distribution system (PDS). The situation in other cities is even worse.”
He further suggested that “All state governments, local authorities and other appropriate authorities should issue ration cards to the sex workers, relaxing the rigours of the existing rules and/or requirements as to verification of address, without mentioning the profession in the document.”