New Delhi: Helping prostitutes have faith in God and hope in the future led seven Adorer Sisters to work with about 50 sex workers in India’s capital over the past five years.
Most of the young women come from India’s poorest states, like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. After coming to capital in search of a job, they become the victims of middlemen who draw them into the sex trade with false promises.
Sister Chandama Pradhan, who runs the programme, said, “First of all, we visit the families of sex workers to establish a social rapport and motivate them to find ways to leave [the sex trade] with courage and conviction,”
The second step is to help the women open up and share the pain and suffering caused by their choice.
After overcoming the trauma, they can get on a path to discover what they can do. They can learn how to sew, make candles or become beauticians.
Since they are usually homeless, the nuns provide them with a roof over their head. At present, the convent is home to some 15 former prostitutes.
The sisters got involved in this kind of action because most of the existing rehabilitation programmers for sex workers target minors. Very few are destined for adult women. In most cases, adult prostitution is accepted as a matter of fact.
“In these five years, we saw that, although these women are full of spirituality and fear God, when they fall victims to the evils of society they cannot abandon this type of work by themselves,” Sister Pradhan said.
“Our apostolate among them is for us an important commitment. It carries many risks, but we love doing something that can give these young women some dignity and respect.”