It is heartening to see a tiny school running in the streets of Heera Mandi; the promise of an education for the children of commercial sex workers.
These children are ostracised by society; rejected by default even before they develop personalities and relationships.
The “Apni Taleem” project by SHEED, an NGO working in the locality for the uplift of sex workers and their children, offers a one-year foundation course that allows students to read and write in the hopes that they can be enrolled into public schools later.
On the front wall of the school is written “Mein acha hoon” (I am good). It is an affirmation to these children that they are not bad, because the world tells them otherwise, a teacher said.
While this is a big step forward in alleviating the hardship faced by these children, it is not enough. More needs to be done to bring this reality to our national conscience.
In what other ways can these children be incorporated into mainstream society?
How do we convince the state and the society to give these children the opportunities they deserve in life regardless of the stigmatised background they come from?
Dawn.com invites its readers to give their views and suggestions.