Many commercial sex workers in the twin cities are willing to join the mainstream workforce and change their profession, if private and public sector organisations are willing to provide them jobs with financial stability.
It is poverty that drives many women into this profession. Though a few workers have changed their profession and are working with different NGO's, many are still looking for jobs that will bring a qualitative difference in their lives, said B. Jayamma, president of Chaitanya Mahila Mandalihave , a community-based organisation.
The organisation works for the welfare of sex workers and aims to help children, youngsters and women, who are forced into the profession. Established by nine members in 2001, the organisation now has over 1,300 members and conducted its 12th anniversary celebrations at the Secunderabad YMCA on Tuesday.
Over 500 workers gathered at the venue and different cultural programmes, including dramas describing problems of the workers were organised.
She explained that most people have false notions that commercial sex workers do not change and join the profession willingly. But, that is not the case. It is financial requirements that force them into the trade and most of them are willing to change. They have various talents, including cooking and few can work as security guards as well, she says.
The organisation provides rehabilitation for sex workers and operates orphanages for the benefit of the children of the sex workers. Besides counselling, the organisation also conducts many health awareness programmes for them.
Despite all these initiatives, the number of women joining the profession is increasing every year. Presently, there are 1,300 members, including 200 from other States and the main objective of the organisation was to ensure that second-generation women do not join the profession.
Majority workers are at the mercy of agents, who take due advantage of the financial requirements of the workers. This apart, lack of shelter, social problems and identity, force many women to recruit their children into the profession, she says.