Kolkata: For the first time in five years, sex workers of Sonagachi, considered Asia’s largest brothel, organised their first Durga Puja, it’s going to be a grand celebration this time.
A large pandal has been erected and they have collected about Rs. 4 lakh to celebrate the only puja for sex workers in Kolkata.
In October 2013, after years of struggle, the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Samiti (DMSS), a sex workers’ collective, got permission from the Calcutta High Court to organise Durga Puja in the forbidden streets of Sonagachi.
In the following years, the women desired to organise full-scale puja celebrations, just as the rest of the city, but the court didn’t allow. The disappointed devotees discontinued the event in 2016.
However, this year, the court ruled in their favour.Close to 20,000 visitors from the community are expected to visit the pandal erected outside the DMSS’ clinic. Special arrangements have been made to deliver bhog to those unable to come to the pandal.
Sex workers in West Bengal’s Basirhat are also holding their first Durga Puja celebration this year.