A Sunday clinic for sex workers

Published - January 19, 2023 01:54 am IST - NEW DELHI

Utkarsh clinic in operation.

Utkarsh clinic in operation. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


Vandana (name changed to protect identity), 20, a sex worker living in Delhi’s Garstin Bastion (G.B.) Road, hadn’t been to a doctor ever since she was shamed by one three years ago. But with a rising fever that didn’t seem to respond to medication, she took a chance with Utkarsh clinic.

Started on January 1 by Sewa Bharti, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed not-for-profit, the clinic has nine to 11 doctor volunteers (physicians and other specialists, including a gynaecologist, paediatrician, and dentist) from the National Medicos Organisation (NMO), also an offshoot of the RSS. They work in different hospitals across the city during the week.

“They didn’t ask prying questions about my profession, and treated me for free. No one has ever cared for me so much,” said Vandana.

The clinic is situated in the small non-functional MCD school on G.B. Road that is lined with hundreds of brothels.

The number of visitors here has been rising, says Sushil Gupta, general secretary of Sewa Bharti, Delhi.

On the day of opening, there were 15 patients; by January 8 there were 43; and by the 15 there were 83. NGO members say many from the area, not just sex workers, come in for consultations.

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