Project Margasusi

Promoting safe sexual health and general health practices among sex workers in Tamil Nadu, India
Project Margasusi, being implemented by Vidyanikethan, in Hosur, with the support of Terres Des Homes, Netherlands, reaches out to commercial sex workers with holistic interventions to improve their lives and livelihoods in the two districts of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri in a Tamil Nadu, a state in south India.

Nature of interventions
Project Margususi's interventions addresses the key health related concerns of commercial sex workers in the following ways:

  • Creating awareness among sex workers about the cause and treatment of sexual infections, and HIV,
  • Motivating them to access government sponsored health check ups for detection of sexual infection or HIV,
  • Creating awareness about safe sexual practices, including organizing demonstrations of condom usage,
  • Sensitizing about various practices for better hygiene, improved nutrition and general good health,

Providing information about social entitlements, and means to access medical treatment and care.
Impact

  • Improved personal health and hygiene, by preventing and reducing the incidences of of water borne disease. The sex workers regularly boil water to make it safe for consumption, clean and disinfect the drains, bathrooms and toilets for better sanitation
  • Reduction in seasonal as well as general health disorders as care is maintained accordingly (importance of drinking water to avoid dehydration, awareness about home based remedies, and herbal properties of commonly available vegetables, roots and greens)
  • Preparation of nutritious and balanced diet by sex workers as they are sensitized about the nutritional value of various cereals, fruits and vegetables, especially for growing children and those with specific health disorders.
  • Increase in the voluntary testing of blood for HIV, and visits to health centres for checkups for any sexual infections. HIV Positive commercial sex workers are accessing medical treatment in an assured manner, without any myths and misconceptions, panic or confusion about the infection.