Pune’s Sex Workers Resume Work With Masks, Gloves And Sanitisers. Most Of Them Want To Change Careers
‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown’ they said. A saying that is etching itself out to be true, as it seems like Pune is the one bowing down to the pandemic, with a crown on top for becoming the worst hit cities in India with over 3,500-4,500 cases reported on an average everyday now. The spread is relentless, public effort and awareness has been driven to the brink and the government is struggling to keep a track of the people that have been infected. But without work, a lot of people are being driven to the extreme and so work is resuming. And with a lot of risk for Pune sex workers.
In Pune and everywhere else, sex workers were one of many people who found themselves in a financial fix when the pandemic struck. With a virus that preys on people through contact, the unique nature of their business seemed to have been hit the worst. With guidelines that issued social distancing, it was almost as if the Coronavirus had a personal tiff with the sex workers. No contact meant no sex and no sex meant no money. With a major source of income, cut at the source, the past few months have been a nightmare for the workers putting up in the brothels of Pune’s Budhwar Peth area.
Things however, appear to be changing. 6 months into this pandemic, despite the curve of corona going steep, the need for businesses to resume has become imminent. And so, the government has finally a given a green light to the red light district of the city of Pune, but with a few changes and new rules to abide by. While a study revealed that 99% of the sex workers in Pune wanted to opt for an alternate career, especially after the current pandemic, the need to earn money has probably forced their hand to keep going.
Also Read : ‘Have Sex But Don’t Kiss,’ Says Canadian Doctor. This Pandemic Is Making Even Sex Less Fun
Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, thermal scanners and showers before intimacy: How the red-light district in Pune has adapted to the 'new normal.'https://t.co/i4QUYxFB8q
— News18.com (@news18dotcom) September 15, 2020
— The Leaflet (@TheLeaflet_in) September 17, 2020
Pune’s sex workers have always been cautious and condoms are considered a necessity. Now we have masks and gloves also coming into the list of “must-haves”. Clients would now be asked to santize themselves well, with a few of the workers also investing in thermal scanners and foot-operated sanitiser dispensers, placing them at the entry to just be extra careful. After all, you can’t be too sure at a time like this, and to be safe than sorry is always a wiser way to go.
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) September 15, 2020
The women have now been advised to not entertain a client having a cough or fever and even suggest them to take a shower and cleanse themselves before they move on to anything else. Back when the lockdown was put into place, a series of precautions and necessary steps were taken to ensure the area doesn’t get affected, neither do the inhabitants. From a complete halt to prostitution, to proper sanitation of the houses was carried out.
With a new SOP (standard of procedure) taken out by the NGO workers and corporation officials, the sex workers are planning to go back to their normal, keeping in mind the new guidelines. A lot of them have even been urged into considering phone sex for the meantime. Although it is scary to learn how certain people are risking their lives to get their financial woes settled, we hope that with proper precaution, the corona stats won’t go all out of control.