Sunday, February 5, 2023

Supreme Court orders all states, UTs to provide dry ration to all sex workers

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court today directed all states and UTs to provide dry ration to all sex workers, as identified by the National AIDS Control Organisation and district legal authorities, without insisting on ration card or any other identity proof, in the wake of hardships faced by them due to the pandemic. 

A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao has asked each state and UT to file affidavits in 4 weeks detailing how many sex workers got dry ration in the four-week period.  The Court has also asked the Union government to inform the Court in four weeks if it can extend the financial assistance given to transgenders during pandemic to sex workers also.

The plea, filed by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee sought basic necessities and ration to sex workers amid the pandemic situation without insistence in identity proof.

The plea has sought relief for sex workers till the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic as monthly dry rations, cash transfer to the tune of Rs 5,000 per month, additional cash transfer to the tune of Rs 2,500 for those with school-going children, Covid-19 prevention measures such as masks, soaps, medicines and sanitisers.

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The plea has prayed for direct coordination and monitoring of Covid-19 relief efforts at the Centre and State levels through committees comprising representatives of health and social justice/welfare departments, the National Legal Services Authority and the State Legal Services Authorities as well as

Community Based Organisations. The plea also sought a direction to the State Labour Departments and the Unorganised Workers Social Security Board to register sex workers and provide the registered sex workers the social welfare measures that all unorganised workers are entitled to. 


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