Delhi’s commercial sex workers demand voting rights

June 30th, 2008 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) Thousands of commercial sex workers in Delhi have demanded voting rights and have urged the city government to facilitate their voter identity cards by extending the last date for submitting required documents. Led by non-profit organisation Bharatiya Patita Udhdhar Sabha (BPUS), nearly 4,000 sex workers have written to Industry, Labour, Election and Land Building Minister Mangat Ram Singhal to help them exercise their franchise.

“Only 20 percent of over 5,000 sex workers in Delhi have voter identity cards. Though the rest are living in the city for years, they do not have voting rights,” said BPUS president Khairati Lal Bhola.

Bhola, who is also an advisor to the women and child development ministry, said that since many sex workers are not educated, authorities are bullying them.

“The forms submitted by these women have been rejected in many cases,” he told IANS.

He said the sex workers and his organisation has appealed to Singhal to extend the last date for submitting required documents for voter ID cards by 15 days to July 15.

“These are citizens of the country and they should get voting cards before the Delhi assembly elections,” said Bhola, who has been working for over 40 years for the welfare of sex workers.

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