Kolkata: To rehabilitate trafficked women and sex workers willing to leave the profession, the West Bengal government will start a livelihood programme for them this month.
Under the project christened 'Muktir Alo' (Light of Freedom), the first batch of 50 trafficked women will get training in vocational skills like spice grinding and block printing.
"We have identified this first batch of girls from various homes for women run by us. Gradually even women who is in the sex trade will be able to join this programme if they are willing to leave their profession," state Women Welfare minister Shashi Panja said.
The programme will be launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at one of the state-run women homes later this month.
During the course of a nine-month-long training, they would get free stay and food at the women's home besides a monthly stipend of Rs 2500.
"The idea is to train them and and give them skills so that they can start a new life. There are many sex workers who want to leave this profession and start a dignified life. We will provide them that opportunity," Panja said.
After getting trained, the inmates would be provided with a start-up capital of Rs 25,000 if they want to start a small business on their own or through a self-help group.