The coronavirus pandemic which led to nation-wide lockdown has affected many lives and professions especially the ones which require a person to person meeting.
With the prolonged lockdown in force and people adhering to social distancing in fear of contracting the virus, sex workers across the country are struggling to make their ends meet.
While speaking to a leading daily, a 35-year-old sex worker Lakshmi* who has hardly stepped out of her home said that every night, after her children go to bed, the 35-year-old sex worker puts on makeup before wandering up to the terrace to make surreptitious calls to her clients.
“I have hardly earned any money since the pandemic began. When you can’t even shake hands how are we supposed to do our work,” she asks. “A few weeks ago, one of my friends told me that she has been making video calls to her clients. It doesn’t pay much but something is better than nothing.”
The sex workers, who have smartphone and access to the internet, have taken their trade to the online space. They use video telephony to engage with their clients and accept payments through e-wallets like GPay. If the sex workers do not have sufficient balance in their mobile account then the clients even recharge it for them.
According to a report by The Times of India, it is comparatively easy for transgender workers to provide virtual sex services as they have more access to technology then female sex workers.
As per a survey done four years ago, over 90 per cent of transgender sex workers possessed smartphones, while the same figure was 30 per cent in the case of female sex workers.