Social activist Anna Hazare’s healing touch has made a difference to many communities in society, including sex workers. And now, as his Jan Lokpal Bill movement sweeps the country, the sex workers whose life he made better are joining his fight against corruption.
Suman Tribhuwan, Meena Pathak and Sangeeta Shelar are three sex workers from Ahmadnagar who have gone to Delhi to sit with Team Anna for the indefinite hunger strike. Shelar said like Hazare, they were also caught by the police and detained for two days.
“I was with Anna even for his first agitation in Delhi in April,” Shelar said. “He is, ultimately, fighting for the basic rights of each and every individual in society and he has taught us to live with pride and dignity. Sex workers from my area are also actively supporting Anna by conducting a support march everyday. We are all with him to eradicate corruption in our country.”
Shelar said they were detained under Section 157 of the CrPC and released late in the evening on Wednesday.
Dr Girish Kulkarni, the founder-director of the NGO Snehalaya, who started a community radio for the sex workers in Ahmadnagar, was also at Jaiprakash Narayan Ground in Delhi and was arrested. He was sent to Chatrasal Stadium on the Delhi-Haryana border.
“Anna, who had also inaugurated our radio station, is our inspiration and we shall be with him wherever he goes for agitation for the Jan Lokpal Bill,” he said. Kulkarni added that he would not be staying in Delhi to sit with Hazare for the stir at the Ramleela ground as he wanted to come back to Ahmadnagar to generate support for Hazare and the Jan Lokpal Bill.
“We are using the radio station to propagate the plus points of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Fortunately, people from all walks of life, including the sex workers in the region, are with us to support Anna wholeheartedly,” he said.
Bucket morcha in Ralegansiddhi A ‘bucket morcha’ was conducted by the residents of Hazare’s village Ralegansiddhi to protest against the non-provision of a bathroom and water for Hazare’s bath in Tihar jail in Delhi.
The agitation was conducted before the Yadavbaba temple in the village. Sanjay Pathade, a local schoolteacher who participated in the agitation, said that many other rallies had culminated in the village, from Parner, Shrigonde, Shirur, Satara and Nashik. Vijay Bhosale, a youth from Sangli, threatened self-immolation before Mantralaya in Mumbai if the Janlokpal bill was not passed. Pathade said ghantanad, or ringing of bells in temples, was another means of protest resorted to in the village to support Hazare.