Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal has urged National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) to provide condoms to sex workers at GB Road to protect them from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
"During my visits to GB Road, I discovered that the sex workers have not been receiving condoms from the last several months from the government. This makes the sex workers and others extremely vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases,” Maliwal wrote in her letter to NS Kang, head of NACO and additional secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Sex-workers and activists working at GB road had informed Maliwal about the non-supply of condoms when she visited them last month.
Around six lakh condoms are used every month at the GB Road.
“No supply of condoms has been received by the Delhi State Aids Control Society (DSACS) since April 2015 except a one-time supply of 24 lakh condoms in May 2015,” Maliwal wrote.
Emphasising on the need of the condom, DCW chief wrote that the lack of scarcity of condom at GB Road, “Resulted in a severe crisis at GB road and has exposed the sex workers and other to potentially high risk of HIV.”
Maliwal has sought a report on non-supply of condoms at GB Road, Delhi&’s largest red light district.
“Please provide the Commission a detailed status report on the issue along with the reason for the gap in supply of condoms. Also, please submit a detailed action plan of NACO on the resumption of supply of condoms, and methods that are being adopted to ensure that this crisis does not occur in future,” she wrote.
"Kindly expedite the process and ensure the supply of condoms at the earliest on an urgent basis,” she added.
Ravikant, an activist working with Shakti Vahini which has raised the issue of scarcity of condoms at GB road told thestatesman.com: “5000 prostitutes reside in over 89 brothels at GB road.
“From the last five-six months women were facing this problem. When we asked NACO, they told us that due to some administrative problem at NACO they stopped the supply."
He said that DCW has assured on the resolve of problems.
"Government is just performing the duty. They do not understand the necessity of condom here. Women here are in need of the money and sometimes they charge as low as Rs.50. Low income is the major concern of the women here and they are hardly concern about the disease, including HIV or STD," he said.
It is also one of the largest clusters of single mothers in the national capital.