Pune: Business Association Budhwar Peth demands safety of sex workers
Business association delegates of Budhwar Peth met Resident Deputy Collector and raised their concerns to ensure the region does not become COVID-19 hotspot after recent ‘Unlock’. As Pune is marching toward Unlock process, business owners of Budhwar Peth area are getting increasingly anxious of the potential threat of the region becoming a COVID-19 hotspot as brothels in red light areas resume operation.
Heads of various business associations, representative of Ganesh mandal, representative of social organisations met Dr Jayadhri Katare, Resident Deputy District Collector and submitted a letter requesting her to enable strict vigilance in the area.
The association also requested to provide relief to Budhwar Peth sex workers as they tide over the hardships they are facing due to lockdown.
“We have worked very hard to keep Budhwar Peth in the Green Zone so that we can restart our businesses. We have all suffered heavy losses already. If now the red light area is open, and customers coming from various parts of the city cause COVID to spread again, then we are worried that this area might become a hotspot and we will have to once again go under a complete lockdown. Most of us are financially not in a position to be able to bear another lockdown,” Bhola Wanjle, said.
More than 400 business owners, and local political leaders have signed this letter which was addressed to the Pune Administration including the Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar, MLA Mukta Tilak, newly appointed Pune District Collector, Rahul Deshmukh, Pune Municipal Commissioner and Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
Dr Mathhew, a social activist from Budhwarpeth area stated “Most of the sex workers are also scared to restart business during Covid but because they have no other alternate option they have been forced to start work again. If some sustainable relief is given to them, they will also keep their business shut till it is safe.”
It would be mutually beneficial if a decision is made to keep the red light area under vigilance and provide other relief to sex workers.” The business owners are hopeful that the District administration will take cognizance of this matter and provide them and the sex workers a mutually beneficial relief.