Ujjain to be free of sex workers
The district administration of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh has ordered sex workers in Pinjarwadi —the well-known red light district of the town — to vacate the houses they are occupying. More than 100 sex workers have either been arrested or asked to shift to other localities.
The Simhastha (Mahakumbh), beginning in Ujjain from April 5, has been cited as the reason. Around three crore devotees are expected to visit the temple-town during the month-long fair. Though Simhastha is held every 12 years at Ujjain, it is for the first time that the sex workers have been targeted. The state government has designated Ujjain as a “holy city” and sale of meat and liquor has been banned in the town.
The administration has warned owners of houses occupied by sex workers to evict them. The threat worked and the sex workers had been driven out of the houses.
Ujjain, it may be mentioned here, was probably the first city in the country to issue licences to sex workers. This was done in the seventies when the municipal corporation started issuing licences to sex workers and began collecting tax from them. It was made mandatory for them to get themselves medically examined once a month. The system was withdrawn after a furore.