ibnlive » India

Feb 24, 2010 at 11:13am IST

Sex worker's daughter fights for dignity

Muzaffarpur: Nashima, the daughter of a sex worker from Bihar, is fighting for her dignity and identity.

In 2002 a police raid in Chattarbhujsthan, the red light area of Bihar's Muzaffarpur town became her wake up call.

The 17-year-old Nashima saw how the police arrested and harassed not just the sex workers but even their children were also not spared.

Nashima, daughter of a sex worker herself, decided to fight back.

Now 25 girls, all daughters of sex workers, have joined Nashima and they have formed an organisation called Parcham.

We talk about the right way. We want our dignity restored. This is our aim," says Nashima.

Her battle was never easy as she moved alley to alley, door to door and convinced every family in the area against forcing their children into the profession.

For those who are already in the profession like Neelam Kumari, Nashima's demand is for a performance license that would safeguard them from the police and pimp nexus.

One of Nashima's biggest challenge has been to usher in a secure future for retired sex workers like Sita Dadi.

"After spending my life here, I can only work as a maid servant," says Sita.

Now thanks to Nashima, Sita Sadi and others like her are now a part of a project called Ujala where retired sex workers are rehabilitated.

From computer training to undergraduate classes the Parcham now has a presence in 25 districts of Bihar.

Nashima and her gang of girls also reach out to the outside world through Jugnu, India's only magazine completely handwritten by those living in the red light areas.

Its editor, 18-year-old Nikhat is also a daughter of a sex worker.

Here in Nashima's own backyard the >nukkad nataks (street plays) performed by the Parcham team continue to cock a snook at those who have given them a stained identity.