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
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.
estimated sex workers in India
of our sex workers are completely illiterate
targeted for rehabilitation over two years
the number of red-light areas in our district where we are currently working
Meena is a peer educator who identifies and counsels women about the alternatives to sex work.