18 January, 2021

A Lower Middle Class Couple Make The Sex Workers' Cause Their Own

A Lower Middle Class Couple Make The Sex Workers' Cause Their Own

He's been called a pimp, been laughed at and ostracised by family and friends. But Madan, named after the god of love, persists in his labour of love - rehabilitating 90 sex workers operating in Mali Sahi, the city's red-light area. And his wife Abharani fully supports him in the cause she helped him take up.

An accountant with Nalini Devi College of Education, Madan is an ordinary householder with two children. His lower middle class respectability excluded any contact with sex workers. Till, returning from a cinema - behind which lay Mali Sahi - he and Abharani stopped by at a wayside paan shop where Abharani for the first time saw some sex workers. "Dressed garishly, they were soliciting customers openly," she says. Abha naively asked her husband who they were. When told their identity, instead of being repelled, Abha felt drawn towards the women who "seemed no different from me".

That was in January 1998. The encounter resulted in the Orissa Patita Uddhar Samiti, aimed at eradicating prostitution...



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