Calcutta HC issued notice to government regarding access to adequate foods by sex-workers. The Calcutta HC while issuing a notice to the West Bengal (WB) government asked them to file an affidavit in connection with a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed seeking access to adequate food grains to sex-workers who are passing through the financial crisis due to ongoing pandemic.
Through the PIL the petitioner raised the issue of financial issues that are being faced by these people, which includes lack of adequate nutritious food to the pregnant women and lactating mothers. Also children who are in the age of 6 months to 6 years of age, the food grains which are provided are not sufficient to them thereby causing malnutrition to them. Moreover, there is denial of nutritious foods items to the children of sex-workers from Angadwadis under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
As reported by Live Law, the PIL was based mainly on fact-finding investigation conducted at the Watgunge Red Light area on August 15, 2021. Access to adequate food ration necessitated under the provisions of the National Food Security Act, 2013 further right to food is also a part of article 21 (right to life) of our constitution and thus violation of these provisions attracted the petitioner to file PIL before the Court.
In the prayer, the petitioner also pleaded before the court to direct the state to provide financial assistance to these people because pandemic has ruined their source of income, and they have other needs as well besides rations.
The hearing of PIL done by the bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj also directed the state to issue identity cards to sex-workers who don’t have their identity cards because identity card is one of the hurdles in getting benefitted under governmental schemes.