June 14, 2014
WB Govt to launch Muktir Aalo – Rehabilitation scheme for sex workers
The West Bengal government today announced a scheme by which sex workers would be rehabilitated through an alternative means of livelihood. West Bengal Women Welfare Minister Shashi Panja said that the scheme, christened ‘Muktir Alo’(Ray of Freedom), was designed for sex workers who were willing to opt for it.
The proposed scheme would help them to return to mainstream, the Minister told in the Assembly. She said that the registered persons would be given house rent and transport allowance during thetraining period. The period of training would be six months, she said.
A survey, led by Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s mayoral council member Shashi Panja, identified as many as 789 elderly sex workers who are so infirm that they cannot even go door-to-door for begging.
The government has identified an old two-storey building near the Tollygunge area where the rehabilitation centre for the aging sex workers and a residential school for sex workers’ children will be housed. The new address will accommodate at least 100 sex workers in the first phase. While the housing department will renovate the building, thefinance department will sanction Rs 50 crore annually for the project.
The state Cabinet also approved creation of the North Bengal Sports Promotional Board for promotion of all kinds of sports. The board, which is to be headedby Baichung Bhutia, is to be set up at Kanchenjunga Stadium.
As already announced by Chief Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee, the Cabinet gave its approval to the Uttarkanya financial directorate whereby issues like pension and gratuity can be addressed from north Bengal itself instead of Kolkata.
This apart, Chai tribe has also been included in the Scheduled Caste category.
The government has also decided to revampthe state Heritage Commission.