Greetings from Taaras.
We are a coalition of women in sex work with a presence across 12 States in India - Andhra Pradesh, Telangana State, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
The Taaras vision sees every woman in sex work realizing all citizenship rights and living with dignity. Taaras envisages having community members as active participants rather than recipients or beneficiaries.
1 million Women in Sex Work are unable to enjoy their basic human rights as citizens of India. Mainstream financial security, a life of safety and access to services is difficult to imagine, let alone live, among the sex worker community who face poverty, violence and discrimination on a daily basis.
Our children too, face stigma and discrimination. Many drop out of school due to the associated bullying and lack of support - financial, intellectual and emotional. The children, like their mothers are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in an environment that thrives on sex trade. And so, the cycle continues.
We believe, that a change for the better is possible by working with our stakeholders in the government and in the media as well as with members of the community alike.
In the long term, this would mean facilitating supportive ecosystems that would prevent stigma and discrimination against our women as well as break the cycle of poverty and exploitation that keep women in sex work and make their children vulnerable to abuse.