Exclusive: UNDP commences documentation on living condition of sex workers during pandemic

Exclusive: UNDP commences documentation on living condition of sex workers during pandemic

Asim Kumar Pramanik

BEHRAMPORE, 11 DEC: UNDP, the United Nation’s development initiative, has embarked on detailed documentation related to the living condition of sex workers in India during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The UNDP status report, it appears, intends to make reality check on whether the Covid-19 pandemic left sex workers hungry or not or things really improved a bit following the Supreme Court’s order to make food items available to sex workers in India, sources informed.

According to sources, the process documentation on dry ration to sex workers during the pandemic was proposed by NACO (National AIDS Control Organization) that acts under the union ministry of health and family welfare. The documentation, to be followed by publication of reports in the form of scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal, is in progress with UNDP supporting NACO which purportedly seeks to know if the executive authorities could successfully enforce the programme of dry ration to sex workers in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive dated 29.9.2020, said officials.

The Institute for Sustainable Development, Research and Reform (ISDRR) has been assigned by the UNDP to do the documentation works, sources said. The UNDP has prepared a questionnaire which has already been communicated to ISDRR officials engaged in the process documentation of dry ration to sex workers in India.

The documentation initiative involves replies from government officials, NGO activists working in the field and the target group of beneficiaries in six states of India. West Bengal is one of the six states, along with Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu, selected for such status report, officials informed.  

The UNDP questionnaire includes replies arising out of direct interaction with beneficiaries like sex workers, AIDS patients, transgender people and other vulnerable groups, said Matiur Rahaman, secretary of the NGO, Karnasubarna Welfare Society.

In a written communication to Rahaman, the ISDRR officials informed that a two member team comprising an expert would be travelling to districts of West Bengal on 13 and 14 December of 2021 for the process documentation programme to be attended by beneficiaries of dry rations, concerned stakeholders and those implementing NACO programmes throughout the year.

The beneficiaries would have to narrate if they got food items (dry rations) during the pandemic or if they faced hardship in terms of getting food without identity documents, movement during the lockdown days, availability of life-saving drugs during the on-going pandemic and related circumstances which have bearing on their right to life, which is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India, officials told Hummingbird News. 

Tags: #UNDP #Pandemic #SexWorkers #LivingCondition #NACO

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