Published: 03rd April 2020
This NGO in Bengaluru is providing groceries to sex workers across Karnataka during the lockdown
Sangama is raising funds to help sex workers and transgenders. You can also do your bit and contribute your share to help thousands of families across Karnataka
While most of our bank accounts might have already been credited with salaries for working from home in the last month or working at the office for the first 15 days of the month, what about those transgenders or sex workers who depend on the income earned on a daily basis via begging or sex? Most of them are still struggling to afford a single meal a day. Therefore, Sangama, an NGO that works in the interest of the transgender community, has been raising funds for the past one week to provide groceries and other essential products to these people and their families.
Rajesh Srinivas, Executive Director of Sangama, who has been tracking the funds raised and spent from day one, says, "We decided to raise funds through a website called Our Democracy. Since the last week, we have been able to raise more than Rs 11,98,702 and our goal is to raise Rs 20,00,000 in the next 13 days. With this money, we have been able to buy groceries and other essential items. Apart from this, we need to pay for transportation too. Because this initiative is spread across the state. While it is easy to deliver these products to the sex workers in Bengaluru, it becomes difficult to reach out to those in rural areas and towns."
Since Sangama has been closely working with the community of sex workers, therefore, it has been easy for them to maintain a database and deliver these goods. Rajesh explains, "We have been working with two different organisations including Karnataka Sex Workers Union as well as Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkuta. Apart from this, Sangama has a direct presence in a few districts in the state. Hence, it is easy to get their phone numbers or house address. According to our estimate, we will provide groceries to 350 families of sex workers and 150 transgenders and each kit comes up to Rs 2,000. Using the groceries in this kit, they can survive in the months of April and May. We have also priortised those families with children, the elderly and those who are HIV positive. And the regions to be covered are Bangalore Rural, Hassan, Bidar, Yadgir, Ramnagara, Haveri, Gadag, Raichur, Koppal, Kolar, Chikkamagaluru and Uttar Kannada."
So, what does this single kit of groceries include? They provide 25 kg of rice, two packets of cooking oil, three kg of dal, 1 kg of sugar and salt each, 500 gms of chilli powder, 500 gm of jaggery, 500 gm of peanuts, 3 bars of soap and two bars of washing soap. "We have started delivering these grocery kits since yesterday afternoon. And every day, when we deliver them at their doorstep, we take pictures or videos with their consent. These videos are then posted on our Facebook account so that people who have donated know that we are spending their money for the right purpose," he concludes.