Distribute ration cards to the rescued survivors of trafficking – an appeal by VIMUKTHI*

Smt. Pushpa Secretary and Smt. Mounika Joint Secretary of VIMUKTHI – A State level forum of rescued survivors of trafficking and victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (Sex Workers) demanded the government to issue necessary directions to the revenue department and concerned ward/village sachivalayam personnel to distribute ration cards to the rescued survivors of trafficking and sex workers while giving an opportunity for them to update their existing cards with necessary modifications.

On Thursday the state executive body members of VIMUKTHI have met with Sri. H. Arun Kumar, IAS Commissioner for *State Civil Supplies Department* at his chamber and have submitted a representation accordingly.

On this occasion, the VIMUKTHI leaders have stated that, there are nearly 1.30 Lakh sex workers in the state according to the Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society at present. But, at present there will be hundred times more women are engaged in sex work than their estimation. They expressed that, on an average 40% of these women have no identity proofs. But, both Government and private schools are harassing these women to submit ration cards with their children details to admit them in to schools if they want to educate their children. If they submit after several painstaking efforts, still they refusing that there is no name of the child in the card or it belong to other districts. As a result, the children of sex workers are far beyond the grounds to access education and are remains as child labour. VIMUKTHI leaders agonised that, “In case of girl children who dropout from schools are becoming role models of their mothers and are influenced and are compelled to involve in prostitution”.

VIMUKTHI leaders lamented that, even if they wish to acquire Aadhaar card also, they are being obliged to submit ration cards as proof. They are all victimized women who leftover their families because of various forms of abuse, exploitation and domestic violence by husbands and also dowry harassment and are surviving in prostitution having no option. In this pathetic condition, now this ration card became a big challenge to the victims of commercial sexual exploitation (sex workers) and hence they appealed government to issue ration cards for them with immediate effect keeping in view of their vulnerability.

VIMUKTHI leaders have claimed that, the Government of Andhra Pradesh in its GO.MS.No. 1, 2003 has stated that, all the sex workers will be provided with ration cards and other identity cards irrespective of any credentials being submitted by them. Accordingly, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its direction issued to all the state governments during Sep 2020 that, all the sex workers shall be issued with ration cards without insisting them to submit any identity proofs. –

About HELP:

HELP is a voluntary organisation mentoring VIMUKTHI (A State level forum of sex workers and survivors of trafficking) in its mission for socio-economic empowerment of sex workers and survivors of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. HELP is working over two decades for the prevention of human trafficking and also protection and welfare of women and children in vulnerable conditions in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

For any clarifications please contact – Mr. Nimmaraju Ram Mohan @ 99497 23666 Mr Bhaskar – Programme Manager – HELP @ 9949688014