Sangli’s red light area
Sangli district in Western Indian state of Maharashtra has the second highest incidence of HIV Aids rate in the state. The NGOs working in Shivaji Nagar, a red light area in Sangli city, have undertaken several measures to increase awareness about the disease and improve the lives of the HIV affected. The NGOs implemented a zero-garbage scheme in the locality housing sex workers, and painted all the houses in pink to provide a sense of community and oneness. The residents are encouraged to create rangoli, a design art using coloured powder, in their courtyards, and adult education classes are held in the locality. Over 50 sex workers attend these classes. The children of the sex workers are encouraged to attend schools, and the use of condoms is encouraged.
Once illiterate and susceptible to ill-treatment, the women have come a long way now and are getting lessons in computers now. All of their children go to school and there are some examples of kids from the locality successfully pursuing higher education courses like engineering.