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    Published On : Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

    Commercial Sex Workers are Social Workers: Lohwe

    It is only because they are present that our daughters, sisters, mothers, wives and our female friends are safe and are able to move freely &  living their life without any fear.

    Nagpur Today: Women’s Week is celebrated throughout the city by various organizations. Women’s Freedom, Liberty, Equality are the topics of the discussion everywhere. While most of the people just undertake or participate in hot discussions and deliberations, there are few women in the society who are actually dedicated and work towards women’s empowerment and setting examples by their extraordinary work and efforts. Hemlata Lohwe is one of those women in the city. The only aim of her life is to make the life of Commercial Sex Worker better and bearable. For the past 10 years she has been connected with the Red Cross Society, an NGO working for the betterment of commercial sex workers in the city. Nagpur Today had an exclusive talk with Hemlata Lohwe and tried to gauge the various facets of her toil which include the achievements as well as the problems that she faces on a day to day basis while dealing with the Commercial Sex Workers. We tried to be acquainted with the journey of Hemlata Lohwe.

    Hemlata Lohwe ( extreme right ) in conversation with Puja Singh ( left )

    Hemlata Lohwe ( extreme right ) in conversation with Puja Singh ( left )

    What are the most vital problems of these Commercial Sex Workers?

    Hemlata Lohwe told that these Commercial Sex Workers have deep fear and don’t have guts to face the outer world. They underestimate themselves and therefore don’t even stand for their own rights. They have the inferiorly complex in them and Pimps force them to live in the degrading atmosphere and pitiable conditions which are not meant for human beings. If they go to make any documents, certificates or government cards, agents cheat these Commercial Sex Workers. There is nobody to fight for these helpless Commercial Sex Workers.

    Who is to be blamed for the pitiable condition and problems of the Commercial Sex Workers?

    According to Hemlata Lohwe, our Society is also somewhere responsible for this. She said, the main reason behind the pitiable situation of these Commercial Sex Workers is, no acceptance from the society. The so called civilized people don’t find them (Commercial Sex Workers) suitable for the society. This is because they are forced to live the life as they are. Even if they want to escape from this degrading life and feel like starting a new life our society will not allow them to do so.

    What can be the solutions to make these Commercial Sex Workers life better and bearable?

    These Commercial Sex Workers need to stand for them says, Hemlata Lohwe. They should form their own organization. As we know unity can make things possible, a Community Based Formation can really help them to fight for their rights. Right now these Commercial Sex Workers are scattered, if they all will come together and will raise their voice, they have the power to achieve what they want. She said the society should also require changing their attitude towards commercial sex workers.

    Do you think legalizing prostitution in India can help?

    Yes, this will help a lot Hemlata Lohwe said. Many country have been legalized this and Indian government should also take this step. From past many years, Sonagachi red light area of Kolkata is giving efforts in this direction.She told that we are also in contact with them and hope government will understand the pitiable situation of these commercial sex workers and will soon take steps so that these commercial sex workers will also get the right to live their life in a respectful manner. If these commercial sex workers will have the proper license they will be free from this police raid thing. One more important thing will happen that the minors will be rescued. If the government will make standard rules and this will given a tag of a profession these commercial sex workers will get a life in which they will be free from inferiority complex and will speak out for their rights.

    Tell us about your journey, how u started working for the betterment of these Commercial Sex Workers?

    Hemlat Lohwe told Nagpur Today that she always wanted to serve the society. She said that she got married at the age of 19 and after marriage she did her graduation in Arts from Matru Seva Sangh. After completing her graduation she did masters in social work .She was having keen interest in serving society therefore immediate after her masters, she got connected with the child line program of government in 1996, which government started to rescue and give a better life to the children’s of commercial sex workers. She joined the program as a vocational trainer. In 2003 she joined Red Cross Society as a field outreach worker. In 2007 she became councilor and from 2009 she is working as project manager for the HIV project of Red Cross society. She said that now these commercial sex workers are like my family members. She added that she wish to work for these commercial sex workers throughout her life.

     What massage you would like to give to the society?

    The society should also need to change their attitude towards these Commercial Sex Workers. The society should realize that they (Commercial Sex Workers) are indirectly protecting the girls and women of our so called civilized society. The society should be thankful to them in some manner. The change in the attitude of the society towards the Commercial Sex Workers can solve 9o% problems of these Commercial Sex Workers. They should understand that these commercial sex workers are very vital and irremovable part of our society and above all they are human being!

    …. Puja Singh

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