The coronavirus pandemic has been taking a major toll on the lives of people across the society, but among the worst affected are people in the informal sector. It is in this context that one can imagine the condition of sex workers in India who are solely dependent on day to day earnings for survival and in the absence of regular clientele, find it extremely impossible to sustain themselves or even provide for their own basic needs.
The Supreme Court of India has issued a direction to the Centre to ensure that sex workers across the country are given monetary assistance along with assistance with food and basic amenities. The coronavirus pandemic has rendered sex workers across the country jobless and in such a milieu they are finding it hard to sustain themselves or keep up with even their own basic needs for survival.
The directions of the SC to the Centre and the states to ensure that the lives of sex workers are made easier and they are supported amid the pandemic is of critical importance because it recognises them as vulnerable and in need of state support.
What is also to be underlined is that the SC has told the Centre that sex workers must be given these amenities without insisting on documents such as a ration card. The decision was brought to light by the SC through a bench that compromised of Justices Hemant Gupta and L Nageswara Rao.
They highlighted that the sex workers throughout the country are in extremely difficult condition and there is an urgent need to do something for them with sincerity and commitment.
The apex court also highlighted that all efforts should be made to reach out to all the sex workers and not only those who themselves made an effort in this context. It is hoped that with the Supreme Court’s direction in this regard, the sex workers in India will receive the government’s support and will be able to sustain themselves better amid the pandemic.