Mumbai sex workers miss `brother' Sunil Dutt

``Dutt saab would tell what we should do and how to safeguard ourselves"

MUMBAI: Sex workers in Mumbai said they miss ``the brother'' who never forgot to get a rakhi tied from them in the last 14 years as they remembered late Union Minister Sunil Dutt on Raksha Bandhan day today.

``We miss him. He was our real brother. Come what may, he will turn up for the Raksha Bandhan,'' echoed 200-odd commercial sex workers, who gathered near Delhi Darbar hotel on Falkland Road in Kamatipura (red light area) in South Mumbai.

``Dutt saab would tell what we should do and how to safeguard ourselves...we cannot forget him,'' said 25-year-old Sunita.

The late leader remained intensely involved in social work during his distinguished public life.

Dutt, who passed away in Mumbai on May 25, would smilingly extend his hand to the street workers who tied rakhis on his wrist. And he would return the gesture with a gift, they recalled.

These workers also paid floral tributes to Dutt Saab and tied rakhis to Peoples Health Organisation (India) Secretary General I.S. Gilada yesterday, the brain behind the event. A two-minute silence was also observed as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Mr Gilda said he tried to get a Bollywood personality for the event but could not get commitment from anybody.

The PHO, an NGO working among sex workers, has been organising Raksha Bandan since 1984. The occasion is aimed at highlighting the plight of sex workers and their fight against HIV/AIDS. -- UNI

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