This NGO is providing groceries to sex workers in Karnataka during coronavirus lockdown
The nationwide lockdown announced on March 24 made the lives of the already disadvantaged segments of the society more difficult. With industries and establishments closing to curb the spread of coronavirus, it has become harder for daily wagers to survive who have no financial security.
Sangama, an NGO in Bengaluru working towards the rights and welfare of sexual minorities since 1999, has extended a helping hand to make the lockdown period a little easier for sex workers and the transgender community.
During this time, Sangama will provide groceries to 350 families of sex workers and 150 transgender persons. Each kit should suffice consumption for April and May, and is worth Rs 2,000. Families with children, the elderly, and people living with HIV will be their priority when it comes to distribution. While it is easy to deliver goods in the city, catering to rural areas and towns is a task.
"We decided to raise funds through a website called Our Democracy. Since last week, we have been able to raise more than Rs 11,98,702 and our goal is to raise Rs 20,00,000 in the next 13 days. With this money, we will be able to buy groceries and other essential items. Apart from this, we need to pay for transportation too because this initiative is spread across the state.” Rajesh Srinivas, Executive Director of Sangama, told Edex Live.
Sangama has worked in tandem with the community of sex workers in Bengaluru city before, and therefore the delivery of goods is easier to facilitate. They have been working with Karnataka Sex Workers Union as well as Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkuta.
Groceries are being distributed to the regions of Bangalore Rural, Hassan, Bidar, Yadgir, Ramnagara, Haveri, Gadag, Raichur, Koppal, Kolar, Chikkamagaluru, and Uttar Kannada.
“Among the top donors is author Arundhati Roy, and so far, Rs 1,53,000 has been collected,” according to The Wire.
The grocery kit contains 25 kg of rice, two packs of cooking oil, three kg of pulses, one kg of sugar, a kg of salt, 500 grams of chilli powder, 500 grams of jaggery, 500 grams of peanuts, three bathing soap bars, and two washing soap bars.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)