Sex workers in the city now want a safe space with basic amenities similar to the red-light area in Mumbai.
At a meeting organised by the Indira Female Peer Educators Collective (IFPEC), which was formed by a group of sex workers, the members decided to request the State government for a space, where they can carry on their sex work without facing any atrocities.
“We submitted a letter to the Chief Minister, Collector and City Police Commissioner in November last year requesting for a safe space. But we did not receive any response. So, we organised another meeting to discuss what we need in the safe space,” said K Kalaivani, secretary, IFPEC.
By basic amenities, they meant accommodation, electricity supply, water, clinic, canteen, women police, facilities for easy transportation, legal aid centre and vocational training centre for rehabilitation.
“Such a system will protect us from the false cases booked by the police against us, atrocities of rowdies and cheating customers. Girls cannot be forced in to sex work and the existing workers can availof government schemes. We are not asking the government to legalise sex work, we only want a safe space where we can carry on with our work without disturbing the public,” she said.
The Collective has 2,088 sex workers as its members in the State, while there are about 90,000 sex workers in Tamil Nadu, including 11,000 in Chennai.