Discussion on ‘Sex Work, Decriminalization and Labour Rights’, on 5th of March 12 noon in Bengaluru

Dear friends

Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU) and Sangama invite you for a discussion among human rights activists

kswu sangama logos

On ‘Sex Work, Decriminalization and Labour Rights’

On 5th of March (Thursday), from 12 noon to 2 PM

At the NGO Hall (Ground Floor), Cubbon Park, near KR Circle, Bengaluru

Recently, the Kannada poet and writer Nadoja K. S. Nisar Ahmed urged the state government to legalise sex work; this statement provoked widespread debate in media and in civil society – many members of the Karnataka Sex Worker Union (KSWU), women’s rights activists, human rights activists, progressive thinkers and many others took part in the discussions. The discussions were very polarised, often missing the nuances about the existing laws criminalizing various aspects of sex work and their impact on sex workers.

To promote deeper dialogue among progressive sections of society we have organised this discussion on sex work. We invite you to participate in this dialogue with the spirit of understanding and mutual respect.

The discussion will start with short trigger presentations by Shakun Mohini, Shubha Chacko and Apoorva Kaiwar,  activists who have been working for the rights of sex workers. We also invite you to stay for a simple lunch after the discussion.

Here are some of the material on the issue for your reference:
1. Shades of Grey – Human Rights of women in Prostitution (by Madhu Bhushan and Shakun Mohini)

2. Trade Union Protections for Sex Workers

3. “Who Says We Do Not Work?” Looking at Sex Work (by Sujata Gothoskar and Apoorva Kaiwar)

4. ‘As Human Beings and As Workers’: Sex Worker Unionization in Karnataka, India (by Gowri Vijayakumar, Shubha Chacko, Subadra Panchanadeswaran

In Solidarity

Bharati (General Secretary, Karnataka Sex Workers Union) and David Bodapati (Coordinator, Sangama)

For more information contact: 96116 90683 (Bharathi)

PRESS RELEASE – Bangalore Bikers Rally Against Racial Discrimination

Bikers Against Racial Discrimination

Press Release

Bengaluru, 16 Feb 2014: More than 200 riders of several bike-riding clubs and individual riders, vroomed on about 150 bikes cutting through the heart of the city unequivocally condemning the racial discrimination, as part of the ‘Bikers Against Racial Discrimination’ ride under the aegis of Brotherhood of Bulleeters Motorcycling Consortium (BOBMC) here on Sunday.

Several women riding the bikes, some really heavy machines, attracted the attention of onlookers. The rally had a long contingent of bikes from Royal Enfield, Honda, Duke and others. Thousands of pamphlets were distributed throughout the route of the rally to educate people about the event and the cause.

There were many placards with messages including ‘Racism is Wrong’, ‘Racism has no place in a democratic country’, ‘Friends Are Made by Heart, Not by Skin Colour’, ‘We, the riding family, won’t stand racial discrimination’, ‘Stop All Violence Against Northeast’ and ‘We All Have Eyes, But to See Right, We Should Use Our Brains’. A very diverse set of people in terms of race, religion, region, age, gender and language participated in the rally. Large number of people from North-Eastern states and Caucasians took part in event.

The bike rally, led by senior bikers Mr. Prem Menon and Mr. Ajit Lakshmiratan, was flagged off from the Town Hall at 8:40 am and passed through Hudson Circle, Mission Road, Lalbagh Road, RV Road, Nanda Theatre Road, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, Silk Board, Outer Ring Road and culminated at the BDA Complex in HSR Layout at 10 am.

Mr. Ajit Lakshmiratan, a Biker from 50+ Bulleteers said: “We are very much concerned about the racial discrimination prevalent. It is a blot on our society and we condemn it. We as a responsible biking community and express our solidarity with North East brothers and sisters.”

Professor Rini Ralte from Mizoram, who made Garden City her home, addressed the bikers and said: “Racial Discrimination is a violence faced by us every day in Bangalore and in other cities. The recent exodus of thousands of North East people from Bangalore indicates the kind of constant fear we live under. Ours is a struggle against discrimination, ours is a struggle for justice and peace.”

Human Rights activist Manohar Elavarthi from Praja Rajakiya Vedike appreciated the efforts of the biking community in fighting against racism. He demanded that Police should be sensitized on the issues of North East people and to recruit people from the region into Karnataka police force to make it racially diverse. He appealed to the bikers to continue this long struggle to change people’s attitudes and to bring lasting changes against racism.

Mr. Bishwajit Singh Rajkumar, a biker from Manipur said: “As a biker, I have never faced any racial discrimination inside the biking community. I am proud to be part of this community and want the larger society to emulate our biking community and learn to accept the people who are different from you. If you want to understand people, you should visit their places and meet them; spend time with them. Then only one will start to understand that they are as beautiful as you.”

Mr. Ringo Pebam, a biker from Manipur, who works in this city, said: “North East people face insults, harassment, sexual harassment, physical violence and humiliation on a daily basis. People here know very little about North East people, our history, culture, food habits, languages; people don’t know that India is home to people of different races. We demand changes in school and college curricula to include information about North East so that all Indians are aware about us. The government should conduct a large scale public education about North East people through mass media and it is their responsibility.”

For details call: Biju Ningthemcha (98454 09264) or Ringo Pebam (99004 57216) or Abdul Khan (99012 55699) or Manohar Elavarthi (96322 23460)

PS: Photos and the pamphlet of the event are attached

???? ??????????????????????????????? 04 05 06 at BDA Complex, HSR Layout

BARD pamphlet BARD pamphlet

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