In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the state, the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) on Tuesday inaugurated a legal aid clinic intended to provide free legal assistance to over 12,000 sex workers and the transgender community in the red light area of the city who face constant harassment.

“The legal aid clinic would play a major role in helping the sex workers and transgenders to get justice who face constant exploitation but remain silent because of being completely unaware about the laws. “We have constitued a three member committee of para-legal volunteers that would not only create awareness among them about their rights but would also guide them in fighting their legal battles,” said Uttam Bhattacharya, the secretary, DLSA, while inaugurating the clinic at the office of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC).

The event was organised by Sankalp, a nonprofit organisation. The secretary of DMSC, Ms Bharati Dey, said, over a hundred women from the com munity turn up at her office every month complaining about the harassment face by them. “They are harassed by the landlords as well as pimps and customers. When we take the victims to the police station, the police doesn’t take their complaints seriously and even mistreat them.

The clinic will act as a conn ecting link between the victim and the law,” Ms Dey said.