Female sex workers (FSWs) income levels and earnings are marginal, with most having to pay 50% of their earnings to the brothel, hotel, and lodge owners. They spend a good deal of their lives paying back loans and often find themselves deeply in debt. Of what little remains, they need to care for their children or send money home. As they get older FSWs are forced to sell their bodies for as little as the price of a cup of tea and have nowhere to go once they are forced or choose to stop working.

How we help

Sneha Saksham aims to develop and deliver vocational training to provide alternatives to sex work and sustainable incomes and futures for our FSWs. By providing career alternatives, essential documentation such as Adhar cards, legal support, and information on their human rights and providing them alternatives while they are still young enough to re-train we are giving them an opportunity for sustainable livelihoods and futures with dignity.

The lifestyle and addictions that FSWs have become dependent on remain our biggest challenge. Through counseling, education, and rehabilitation we aim to kick their habits and live a simpler life through more sustainable and healthier employment. Our vocational training options include:

 

  • Fennel (disinfectant) sales

  • Paitani sari weaving

  • Fashion design/tailoring

  • Papad production

  • Agriculture

 

We have also funded start-up costs for snack stalls and are currently exploring other options.

 

Who we help

This project targets women who are reaching the end of their working lives in sex work, prioritizing those:

 

  • Over 35 years of age

  • Who have HIV/AIDS

  • With teenage children who are at increased risk of exposure to their mother’s profession

  • Who directly approach us to leave

How you can help

With your support, we can reach out to more sex workers to educate them on their health and rights, offer them alternatives, put an end to trafficking, and ultimately prevent the further spread of HIV and STDs.

10 million

estimated sex workers in India

75%

of our sex workers are completely illiterate

36

targeted for rehabilitation over two years

200 women

the number of red-light areas in our district where we are currently working

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Snehalaya helped me to set up my own tea stall and I am really happy to share my experience to encourage others to do the same.
MEET...

Meena

Meena is a peer educator who identifies and counsels women about the alternatives to sex work.