Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Friday said the state government has been working towards the rehabilitation of sex workers in the state.
Replying to a half-an-hour discussion tabled by North Shillong legislator Adelbert Nongrum in the Assembly, Rymbui said the Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) is implementing targeted intervention (TI) projects for female sex workers (FSW) through different NGOs, with the objective of preventing the transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and to provide other support services.
Rymbui said during the Covid situation, tele-counseling was provided by TI staff to the FSWs who are facing certain crises due to the pandemic.
TI NGOs in Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills were able to provide free food items in collaboration with different individuals, district administration, district legal service authority (DLSA), NGOs and community-based organization.
“MACS along with the TI NGOs had coordinated and collaborated with the deputy commissioners’ office to provide free dry rations to 79 FSWs in East Khasi Hills district, 44 each in West Jaintia Hills and East Jaintia Hills district and 16 FSW in Ri-Bhoi,” he said.
According to him, there is an active population of 1513 female sex workers are working closely with TI NGOs, adding that 371 of them are working with Manbha Foundation in the East Khasi Hills district.
380 from West Jaintia hills and 157 from East Jaintia Hills districts are working with the Mihmyntdu Community Social Welfare Association, 305 FSW in Ri-Bhoi district are working with KJPA – SELDA while another 300 FSW in South Garo Hills district are working with ADIL Gandhian Society, the Home Minister informed.