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Older Women Pushed Into Prostitution After Covid In South 24 Parganas District?Supreme Court Asks West Bengal Govt To Look Into Reports

Sohini Chowdhury
12 May 2022 5:06 PM GMT
Older Women Pushed Into Prostitution After Covid In South 24 Parganas District?Supreme Court Asks West Bengal Govt To Look Into Reports
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The Supreme Court, on Thursday, asked the State of West Bengal to look into the issue that in South 24 Parganas District of West Bengal, 'women of older age groups' are being forced into prostitution after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While a Bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai was hearing a plea seeking various benefits for sex workers across the country, Amicus Curaie, Mr. Pijush K. Roy apprised it that, as per news reports, older women in South 24 Parganas District of West Bengal, from poor families, especially after the onset of the pandemic, are being pushed into prostitution. He alleged that the State Government, though aware of the same, had not taken any precautionary measures.

"In South 24 Parganas (West Bengal), aged women are being used for this purpose for their poverty due to the pandemic…Your lordships may direct the State Government to look into it. They are aware…There is no precautionary measure by the State Government."

In his note, the Amicus referred to an Article published on the website of The Print, which covered the plight of the women in the Sunderban Delta region of West Bengal. The article noted that the pandemic coupled with climate change is now pushing older women, even grandmothers into the trade. The traffickers who were finding it difficult to get hold of young women due to the lockdown had shifted focus and by taking advantage of their acute poverty, worsened by the pandemic engaged older women from West Bengal's costa regions in prostitution.

At the request of the Amicus, the Bench asked the Counsel representing the State of West Bengal to look into this issue and respond when the matter is put up for hearing on Tuesday (17th May).

Case Title: Budhadev Karmaskar v. State of West Bengal And Ors. Criminal Appeal No. 135 of 2010

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