'No longer at the mercy of the madams': India's bank for sex workers | Amrit Dhillon

'No longer at the mercy of the madams': India's bank for sex workers | Amrit Dhillon

Across West Bengal, a bank run by and for sex workers ensures they keep their earnings safe and avoid the loan sharks – and means they can get an official ID

As a sex worker in Kolkata, Rita Roy had no access to her own money. The brothel madam kept her earnings “safe” – shoving the notes into her bra – and whenever Roy needed money, she would never get the full amount she asked for.

Roy, 36, did not have a bank account. When she needed money to treat her father’s heart condition seven years ago, she was forced to visit a loan shark to borrow 2,000 rupees (£23). In one year, 13,000 rupees extra (£150) was due from the interest.

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