Jayamala takes over as chief of panel on sex workers, Devadasis

9:57 PM, Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Jayamala Bengaluru : Actor-turned-politician Jayamala, a Congress MLC, on Friday officially assumed office as chairperson of a committee to study the problems of sex workers, Devadasis and sexual minorities in the State.

The post ensures her the status of a minister-of-state rank and thus many facilities.

The committee is under the purview of the Women and Child Development department. Jayamala was appointed in May. She has been allotted a room in the Vikasa Soudha.

The first meeting of the committee under the chairmanship of Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree was held on Friday. The committee has the task of submitting its report within next six months. Usually such panels get an extension, as the given assignments are rarely completed within the timeframe. The committee will tour within and outside the State and also conduct a survey of these communities.

Umashree told the media in Bengaluru that the 15-member committee will look into bringing the marginalised sections to the mainstream. This will be the first such committee in the country, she added.

She said the aspect of legalising prostitution was constantly being debated, while little efforts were made to address the social stigma these women suffered, in addition to lack of education and health care.

“This is a highly sensitive subject, which has always stayed in the background. With the formation of the committee, these issues are now gaining visibility,” she said.

Umashree said the problems faced by these women had to be addressed scientifically and not by adopting emotional approach. The government would make concerted efforts for the welfare of these women, she added.

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