Goa scheme for sex trade victims rehab gets SC approval


The state government lost a chance to be a pioneer in implementing a novel scheme for rehabilitation of sex trade victims though it was in the forefront in drafting the same scheme. The Prabhat scheme for rehabilitation of sex trade victims was drafted by the Goa government in 2011 and the scheme has now been selected by a Supreme Court constituted panel in Budhadev Karmaskar versus West Bengal case.
Women and child development director Sunil Masurkar said the scheme is aimed at the overall welfare of sex trade victims. Though, it was drafted a year ago the scheme could not be implemented due to administrative reasons. It will be notified after approval of the SC.
Dismissing the appeal filed by Budhadev Karmaskar who was convicted for murdering a sex trade victim in a red light area of Kolkotta, the SC converted the case into a public interest litigation (PIL). From P 1
Taking a broader of view of the plight of those pushed into the sex trade, the apex court felt that state governments should implement a scheme exclusively to offer sex trade victims a chance to extricate themselves from the net of sex trade.
Arun Pandey of ARZ, a Vasco based social work organization working to help trafficked persons, had drafted the scheme for the Goa government. Pandey, who was also a resource person for the SC panel, said the scheme has been slightly modified. "The SC has forwarded it to all states calling for their comments."
The scheme is novel in the sense that for the first time rehabilitation is thought of for all genders-men, women, transgenders-pushed into the sex trade.
"There is no gender bias under the new scheme. A larger view has been taken to aid sex trade victims who get into the sex trade due to different reasons." Pandey said.
The scheme has various benefits, including helping victims of the sex trade to get houses, jobs or even start a business.
Pandey said that under the scheme all expenses of the applicant, including medical expenses, will be met by the government. "If the applicant has to undergo counseling for mental health even that expense will be provided by the government," he said.
Once the scheme has been implemented, a monitoring team consisting of social workers, government employees, a member of the Goa chamber of commerce and industry and NGO representatives will be constituted keep a check on the progress made by beneficiaries of the scheme. tnn
Benefits for sex trade victims
Covers persons of all genders: Men, women and transgenders
Will help sex trade victims get a house on rent. Deposit money and rent will be paid by government until victim starts earning
Mentor will be appointed for the victim who will help victim get job, enrolled for vocational course if victim desires
Help victim to start a business of choice
Will provide working capital up to Rs 50,000
Children of sex trade victims will be provided free education up to Class XII
There could be 3,000 persons in the sex trade in the state, excluding those who come during the tourism season. [TOI]