ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sex Work, Sex Trafficking, and Myopia of the State

Why does the state fail to notice that a girl/woman entering prostitution, either through coercion or choice, is the same one who got married early, never went to school, or struggled in informal labour markets from an early age? From being consistently invisible in the pre-sex work phase of her life, what makes a sex worker so visible in the eyes of the state? What does this reveal of the state rather than the sex worker? The answers to these questions could help us think of sex workers’ lives beyond the narrow debates of trafficking versus sex work, making them part of more mainstream development concerns.

Understanding the Skills and Livelihood Aspirations of the Working Homeless Men of Yamuna Pushta

Delhi’s homeless migrants work daily wage jobs that provide temporary housing on worksites, but they often endure abuse from their contractors and employers and receive low to no wages. The city’s approximately 200 shelters allot 18 square feet per resident, which is far below the National Urban Livelihoods Mission’s Scheme of Shelters for Urban Homeless guideline of 50 square feet per person. Labourers in Yamuna Pushta use congested shelters because the nearby jobs determine their survival. In this context, the homeless labourers’ working and shelter conditions, the skills they possess, and the barriers they face to decent working conditions are examined.

Developmental Projects in Odisha

Resisting Dispossession: The Odisha Story by Ranjana Padhi and Nigamananda Sadangi, Delhi: Aakar Books, 2020; pp x + 311, ₹ 695 .

Carbon Fantasies

Living with Oil & Coal: Resource Politics & Militarization in Northeast India by Dolly Kikon, Seattle: University of Washington Press , 2019; pp xiii + 189, price not indicated .

ASHAs’ Health Services

The intrinsic commitment of the accredited social health activists towards the well-being of the community is unduly exploited by the state in the name of “volunteerism.” It is high time a wholesome definition of work is adopted to understand the inconspicuous contributions made by these front-line healthcare workers, who form a key link in the public health system in India.

Anti-Trafficking Bill 2018 Fails to Address Changing Forms of Labour Exploitation

The recently passed Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 is woefully unaware of the present context of globalisation and the changing forms of labour dispossession and exploitation.

Japanese Occupation of Nicobar Islands

Primarily based on archival research, especially an unpublished diary of Nicobarese stalwart leader John Richardson, this article gives a glimpse of the sufferings that the Nicobarese endured under the Japanese colonial regime during World War II. The regime exposed the indigenes to war, slavery, torture, and executions. At the same time it engendered leadership in the Nicobar Islands which consolidated these historically isolated people into a community and ended their prolonged economic and sexual exploitation.

Revisiting Agrarian Bihar

Social Power and Everyday Class Relations: Agrarian Transformation in North Bihar by Anand Chakravarti; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2001; pp 311, Rs 525.

Shalishi in West Bengal

Traditional community/village level dispute resolution systems still coexist with formal processes of justice and administration. The `shalishi' is one such method of arbitration in West Bengal that has been used by NGOs to intervene effectively in settling domestic violence cases. Shalishi scores over the more formal legal avenues of dispute resolution because of its informal set up. But deriving its legitimacy as it does from the conventional norms and values of the community it works in favour of keeping the family intact, often compromising feminist notions of empowerment.

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