Fed up with loan denials by banks and exorbitant interest being charged by private moneylenders, commercial sex workers here have come together to set up their own cooperative credit society.
"The idea behind starting the credit society is to empower the women who are victims of the flesh trade and make them more and more self-reliant. The idea is to transform the credit society into a funding agency like a bank at a later stage," Meena Shinde, Honorary Director of Snehjyot-Mukta project which works to create awareness on HIV, AIDS and rehabilitation of sex workers, said.
The women took the imitative to start the society as they were fed up of being denied loans by the banks and exorbitant interest being charged by the private moneylenders, she said.
"Most of the women entered the flesh trade due to compulsion. Now these women want a better future for their children as they know that being in this trade tantamount to being in slavery and hence they have decided to start this venture," she added.
The women of red light area like Bhagat, Chitra and Mamta Galli in Ahmednagar, Shivnagar in Shevgaon, Dhanagar Vasti in Shrirampur are confident about the success of their venture.
After forming a self help group Snehalaya in 2002, the women in the flesh trade have decided to set up a credit society which will work as a funding agency like bank.