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Apex Court Upholds Free Dry Ration For Sex Workers

| Updated: January 10, 2022 18:27

In a bid towards an equitable society, the judiciary has deemed identification documents and thereon dry rations to women, men and transgenders involved in sex work.

Hitherto, in the absence of ration or Aadhar cards, sex workers were left either at the ration dispenser’s will or left to fend for their provisions without the subsidised supply. 

Senior advocate Anand Grover, while briefing media, post the Apex court’s verdict last week, further informed that state and UTs are directed to file a status report on sex workers’ voter IDs, Aadhar and ration cards. In absence of any uniformity, not only does this put the already marginalised community on a sore backfoot, it is also leading to a lot of discrepancy in ration distribution. “Meanwhile, states and UTs will keep on with the distribution of dry ration to the sex workers,” the court observed. 

According to senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, sex workers cannot produce proof of residence and therefore are not listed by NACO (National Aids Control Organisation). This in turn impacts the issuance of Aadhar. Likewise, incomplete documentation triggers the turning down of voter ID or ration cards.

The court further directed the community-based organisations of which sex workers are members, to prepare a list of sex workers for this purpose and forward the same to District and State Legal Service authorities so that the required action can be taken.

Advocate Grover also submitted that sex workers for all genders should be made eligible for identification documents.

The matter has now been adjourned by four weeks.

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