They may not constitute a huge vote bank and hence their concerns usually go unheard. But for the sex workers of GB Road, a visit by sitting Congress MP Kapil Sibal came as a pleasant surprise on Thursday.
Congress' candidate from Chandni Chowk, Kapil Sibal, during a road show for the Lok Sabha election 2014 at Old Delhi. (Sonu Mehta/HT photo)
As Sibal made his way into the street in an open gypsy, Congress supporters surrounded him shouting slogans.
At 4.45 pm, the crowd started swelling and he had to get down from his gypsy and use an e-rickshaw offered by a local. The roadshow that started from GB Road, covered areas such as Shahganj Chowk, Kundewalan Chowk, Khatikan Chowk, Balmiki Chowk, Shankar Gali, Bazar Sita Ram, and Hauz Qazi Chowk, which are part of the Matia Mahal assembly segment.
“In the past few years, I’ve launched a number of schemes especially for sex workers. I ensured that their children were admitted to schools and they were provided with health and other basic facilities. They are generally ignored by other political parties but my commitment is to the entire constituency,” said Sibal.
A number of Congress supporters who were part of the roadshow interacted with the sex workers to get their feedback and note down their concerns.
“Earlier, we didn’t have access to get information about health plans which are available to us, but after the government’s intervention we now have access to basic healthcare facilities. In the past regular checkups have been done here organised by the government. All these plans have increased our social security,” said a sex worker.
Hitting out at his opponents BJP’s Harsh Vardhan and AAP’s Ashutosh, Sibal said that they do not belong to Chandni Chowk.
“Now that they are contesting elections from here they are claiming that they belong here. Where were they all these years? Why this sudden realisation and love for Chandni Chowk? If Harsh Vardhan was born here why did he shift if he really wanted to serve the people? All this is nothing but a political gimmick, but they cannot fool the people,” he said.
When quizzed on how well Congress would perform this time round after the poor show in the assembly elections where they managed to retain only eight seats, Sibal responded by saying that the people would be surprised by their performance.