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Delhi: Special vaccination camp for children of GB Road sex workers

Since the government started vaccinating teens in the 15-18 age group, the administration has also organised camps for children in de-addiction centres, shelter homes and also for school dropouts, apart from sex workers’ children.
Vaccination underway at a special camp near GB Road, on Wednesday. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Updated on Jan 20, 2022 04:01 AM IST
By, New Delhi

The Delhi government on Wednesday opened a special Covid-19 vaccination camp at Anglo Arabic Senior Secondary School for over 150 children whose mothers work as sex workers in brothels on GB Road. Government officials said the aim of the special camp was to provide as many sex workers’ children in the 15-18 age group with access to the vaccine.

“Over the last year, we have identified several areas where people from unorganised sectors cannot easily access vaccination. Last year, we conducted vaccination camps for sex workers of GB Road and we wanted their children to also get the opportunity to get the vaccine shots without any trouble,” said Akriti Sagar, district magistrate (central district), who organised the camp.

Since the government started vaccinating teens in the 15-18 age group, the administration has also organised camps for children in de-addiction centres, shelter homes and also for school dropouts, apart from sex workers’ children.

A 16-year-old boy who arrived at the Anglo Arabic Senior Secondary School at 9am to receive his first vaccine dose on Wednesday, discussed how Covid-19 cases were rising alarmingly, while occasionally making jokes about how his social life had been impacted by the pandemic. “I live with my mother on GB Road; she has received both her vaccine shots. She insisted that I also receive my dose at the earliest,” said the boy.

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A 15-year-old, who had also come to get inoculated at the camp, said that such initiatives by the government were a step towards breaking social discrimination against sex workers and their children.

“I usually tell people that I live in Sadar Bazar, without giving them specific details of my address. As soon as you tell anyone that you live on GB Road, their attitude towards you completely changes. Children like me would perhaps never even get a shot at life and education if social organisations and governments do not intervene,” the teenager said.

Pragya Baseria from Kat Katha, an NGO that works with the sex workers of GB Road, which also helped spread the word among children for Wednesday’s camp, said that while sex workers did initially hesitate to get vaccinated, but now they are getting themselves and their children vaccinated.

“Many of these children got enrolled in schools late but they are very smart and pushed their mothers to take the vaccine,” Baseria said.

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