Sex workers' election an exemplary display of democracy
Kolkata's sex workers voted to choose their officebearers in an election which was totally peaceful
Elections in West Bengal are known for their intensity and violence. But recently there was an election in the state which was completely peaceful. The candidates, with election symbols, were seen laughing and talking to each other. And make a note of this: this was an election to choose officebearers of an organisation of sex workers working in Bengal.
Candidates sitting on queue and chair for voting
According to reports, voting was held in Kolkata's Salt Lake area on Wednesday. In this, the sex workers voted for officials of their organisation, the Durbar Women's Coordination Committee (DMSC). The institution has more than 50,000 members. The whole election was held under the supervision of DMSC adviser Samarjit Jena.
According to the news report in The Hindu, the process of elections started in June. At first, 180 office bearers were elected for 45 branches; these officials selected the organisation's officials on Wednesday. It said there are strict guidelines for these elections. Supervisors were appointed to ensure free and fair elections. Those who declare themselves as sex workers, can contest elections and vote.
Bishakha Lashkar, who contested the elections for the post of president, said, "We were forbidden to use mobile phones. We could not talk to any voter..." One candidate's election symbol was a ladder. Other symbols given to candidates included a telephone and the rising sun. Three sets of ballot papers were printed for voting. The DMSC's top three office bearers were elected in the process.
Ballot paper printed for voting
DMSC's Chetala branch officer and first time voter Mamta Mukherjee said, "There is not much difference in voting for this election and general elections. The only difference is that there is no atmosphere of violence and fear. '
There is not much difference between the general election and the process of election
One of the three observers and former school teacher Banshi Badan Chattopadhyay said, "We ensure that there are no fake voters and it's done according to the rules."
One the need to hold elections, Dr. Jena says that it not only empowers the women, but also helps in solving the problems of the sex workers.
The organization has more than 50,000 members
Shortly after the polling was over, the results were declared.
[Autotranslated from Hindi]