Mamata offers new life to ‘Sonagachi’: “Light of Freedom”
We all heard about the pathetic flesh trade business and the ailing sex-workers of Sonagachi, which is considered as the largest red light region in Asia. Even though our the governments and NGO’s had invested reasonable time and effort to eradicate the dirty culture of objectifying a human being, they were not enough to wipe out the taints of a decades old flesh-culture of the West Bengal’s darkest region. Learning from the failures, the Trinamool-led WB government is set to introduce a new rehabilitation program for the sex workers in the red light region of Sonagachi. And, the project is named as ‘Light of Freedom.’ Reports say that the proposed rehabilitation program is one of the pet projects of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Through the implementation of the project, the government is targeting on the uplift of the marginalised sex-worker’s community of the region. NGOs have reportedly recruited several art aspirants from the community to join the art training program that majorly incudes acting and dancing. Sashi Panja, state women development and social empowerment minister, said that the project would develop the acting and dancing skills of the women from the marginalised community. These trained women could grab opportunities in films and television programs, minister added. Minister claims that the department had already spoken to the producers of some serials and films to ensure opportunities to the trained women. Samarjit Jana, who is coordinating the project, is extremely optimistic about the success of the dream project. Around fifty women had already joined the training program, and they were very curious about the classes, he added. This is actually the second phase of the rehabilitation program. Unfortunately, the initial phase had not contributed the expected output. Earlier, the rescued women from the red-light region were given skill training classes in weaving and sewing, but it had failed to provide them adequate livelihood. As a result, these women were forced to get back into their ugly past. Experts claim that the new project could gain success in its long run if it is neatly and carefully implemented. Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a women’s group working for the betterment of sex-workers, asserts that they would help to attract more participants into the program.
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