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Irritating Celebrity Do Good-ism

May 10, 2011

What is wrong with Pooja Gandhi?

The Bangalore Mirrors reports

35 sex workers are receiving vocational training. Showing them the way is Pooja Gandhi.

A group of sex workers are being provided vocational training in activities, ranging from housekeeping to tailoring to turn a new leaf of life.

Actress Pooja Gandhi is one of the leading volunteers behind this initiative. She is not only raising funds through donations, but also personally providing counselling for these women [emphasis mine] . In fact, spare hours of the actress in the last few months have been spent working towards empowering these women, numbering 35. Their identities will be kept a secret so that they do not face discrimination once they are placed in work after two months.

“I met some of these women while I was working for the rehabilitation of HIV-positive children. The society and families of these women are to be blamed as they did not support them in their needs. Most are illiterate, but if trained properly,  some of them can even be employed in BPOs for menial jobs. Their only concern is how society will treat them. We can be a mature society and help them,” said the actress.

Furthermore…

Chandrashekar Gowda, of Swasti Health Resource Centre, who mooted the idea, says the women are willing to lead a good life if given a chance. “We do not even call them sex workers as it has a negative annotation. Back home they are mothers, wives and homemakers. These disadvantaged women needed a way out and we are trying to help. […]

News like this is just one giant itch on my brain. It never stops to amaze me how thoroughly self-involved a certain class of people can be. How is it that a person like Pooja Gandhi feels no basic shame when “counseling” women who she does not respect, much less understand? How do you claim to respect a group of women if you see what they do as so shameful that it cannot even be mentioned? That you question basic choices they have made in life and feel no hesitation in denying them agency or voice? Sigh. Really.

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