September 17th, 2011
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Sex workers to get an education

red-light-areaPune: Nashik based Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) is introducing certificate courses for marginalized sections of society like sex workers and transgenders in an attempt to empower and rehabilitate them. This project is the baby of the VC of the university, Dr R Krishnakumar who is trying to live up to the promise made to the Governor at the time of his appointment.

“I had made a promise to the governor that I will try to start a course to rehabilitate the marginalized sections of the society,” he said. A pilot project was first introduced in Nasik which failed miserably due to lack of cooperation from brothel owners and senior sex workers. Refusing to be disheartened by this failure he took the project to Pune and to his surprise the idea was welcomed with open arms.

“To our surprise, brothel owners here agreed and even wanted a programme for sex workers as they knew this means of income wouldn’t last forever. Through talks, we realized what their needs were and we have decided to start a short-term preparatory course for them as well as the sex workers, who have never been to school,” said Krishnakumar. “Later we will introduce short-term certificate courses for the girls which would be credit based and, if they wish, the credits can be transferred and they can continue to do a diploma course as well.”

With an air of practicality he does admit that the employment opportunities are not very bright due to the stigma that is attached to them. It would be difficult for society to accept them he said. But through this course he hopes to impart technical training, confidence and expertise that would enable them to start a small scale business of their own with the help of a bank loan.






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