Provide rations to sex workers, says Gauhati High Court

Bench cites 2020 Supreme Court observation on workers’ right to live with dignity

The Gauhati High Court has directed the authorities of a district in southern Assam’s Barak valley to provide rations to sex workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An order was issued to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar district and the Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority on May 28.

Hearing a petition filed by Debajit Gupta, a resident of Cachar district headquarters Silchar, a Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak cited a September 2020 Supreme Court observation that sex workers have a right to live with dignity.

The top court had also constituted a committee to look into the conditions of sex workers in the country.

The Deputy Commissioner informed the court that the sex workers and their families have already been identified since a project is being run by the National AIDS Control Organisation.

“Since it is an urgent situation, let the rations be provided to them today [May 28] itself,” the court said.

There are an estimated 70 sex workers in Silchar, and they sustain about 300 people.

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