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Introduction

Belaku Mahila Sangha (BMS) is a community organisation (CO) of women in sex work in Dharwad district of Karnataka State in India. In 2008, female sex workers in the district came together to create a space for acknowledging their common identity, and share about their struggles and draw strength from their solidarity. The CO began by implementing programmes for reducing HIV prevalence among women in sex work. They understood the social and health problems affecting the community, and began to work together for gaining self confidence to fight for their rights as sex workers.

The CO supports 2189 members and is registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960.

Mission

BMS aims to empower female sex workers to achieve equity and equality through socioeconomic, political and cultural development, and overcome violence.

Services Provided

As part of strengthening and sustaining the organisation formed exclusively to benefit the community of women in sex work, BMS provides various services to its members.

  • Advancing knowledge on sexual health, distributing condoms and encouraging condom use, providing referral services to the hospital and ART linkages and conducting health camps
  • Building financial security of members through awareness on savings activities, opening bank accounts and getting insurance
  • Promoting a help desk for the community to access social entitlements
  • Raising awareness on safety, security and justice measures to address crisis

The CO envisions building linkages and networks with various services providers from government, private and non-government institution; focus on providing care and services for people living with HIV and vulnerable children; enhance alternate livelihood opportunities for the community members; and support the education of children of female sex workers.

Highlights

  • City - Dharwad
  • Founded - 2008
  • Members supported - 2189

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No.25, AECS Layout, Ashwathnagar,

(Land Mark - Behind Paratha Plaza,

Raghavendra Nilaya),

Bengaluru 560 094, Karnataka State, India

contactus@swasti.org

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