Boys of Sex Workers Win
Having won the first three matches (10-0) the players from Durbar Sports Academy in India have begun this year's Dana Cup in a very successful manner. On the road to the recognition, which they have fought for in years in their home country, the children of the sex workers have literally belonged to an anonymous group in society in which their only options were crime and life on the street.
But already in 1992 doctor S. Jana established a health program. The program originated in the dramatic spread of HIV among sex workers and street prostitutes in the metropolis Calcutta and the entire province of West Bengal. Since then the health situation has improved significantly and concurrently educational and cultural offers have been added.
'In 2011 we were able to open Dunbar Sports Academy, where we initially offered football training for the boys of sex workers. Besides the Sports Academy we also have a hostel where the boys live and a school in which they are taught lessons enabling the good students to get a university degree,' S. Jana explains.
'When I started my health program in 1992 only one of the children received an education. Today between 40 and 50 children get an education, so we have had a huge increase,' smiles S. Jana and adds that the children of sex workers belong to an anonymous group of people without the opportunity to get an education.
'The problem for the children was that previously the children had to document the father's last name in order to receive an education, but since their mothers were sex workers they typically did not know the name of the father. Now they just have to document the name of the mother.
Alongside improved health among these very vulnerable people, we have also set up a banking system. Previously, the banks would not acknowledge sex workers and that meant that the money they did earn could only be put in a jar or spent. They could not put the money in the bank. Now 20,000 sex workers have placed five million dollars in the bank, plus they can borrow money for a deposit,' says S. Jana adding that Durbar Sports Academy now has opened the doors for other stigmatized groups of minorities, including children of rickshaw drivers and people with similar jobs.
'We are here with a group of 21 children and grown-ups, and everybody has had a great experience. For the boys, it was the first time they were on an airplane, and the first time they experience contact with children and youth from other nations. It is fantastic and we are very grateful that we have been given this opportunity,' doctor Jana says.