Protect Vulnerable Sex Workers: Get them Cervical Cancer | Milaap
Protect Vulnerable Sex Workers: Get them Cervical Cancer Vaccination
  • Aarna

    Created by

    Aarna Bhura
  • FS

    This fundraiser will benefit

    Female Sex Workers

    from New Delhi, Delhi

Tax benefits for INR donations will be issued by Sachhi Saheli

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” 
-Dr. Loretta Scott

Indeed a little help from you could save lives of vulnerable sex workers who are living difficult lives. And that's why, we appeal to you to you donate so that they can be given the gift of life: The HPV vaccine that can protect them against Cervical Cancer. 

15-year-old Swapna (name changed) of West Bengal was  trafficked and forcibly brought to a brothel at GB Road , the red light district area of Delhi where several other girls like her are brought and forced into sex work against their will. She was a young girl who was oblivious of what was happening to her as the pimps who she was sold to forcibly had sex with her. After this, she refused to let any men near her. But in the world where she was, she had no free will. Her Brothel 'madam' beat her, and let several men rape her so she would give in. She was beaten, tortured and remained unfed for days until she gave in to their demands and began sex work. She has no say and no autonomy over her body as her clients behave with her as they please, often having unprotected sex with her and being violent with her.

Swapna is one of hundreds of sex workers who are coerced into sex work without their will and are subjected to horrific living conditions, where they are treated as commodities. They are surrounded by a web of 'gatekeepers' who not only have caged them but also treat them as slaves, as they get minimum to no wages and only minimal amount of food. An anti-trafficker working to rescue especially under-aged girls at G.B. Road talked about their living conditions and said, "Many sex workers are cramped together in a small dingy brothel, where they are displayed every evening like goods to the clients and from each client the brothel gets anywhere between Rs. 250 - Rs.1000 out of which the sex workers are paid either nothing or Rs.25 per client. They are forced to attend to several clients in a day to maximise the profits of the brothel and they have no days off." 
What's more is the fact that they are also subjected to sexual violence at the hands of their clients as a result of which  they find it difficult to negotiate safe sex with them. This leaves them vulnerable to several Sexually transmitted infections, one of them being the Human Papillomavirus which causes in women the Cancer of the Cervix also called Cervical Cancer. 

 Cervical Cancer is one of the leading cancers among women in India as it forms 16.5% of the total cancers and is the second most common form of cancer in Indian women. Several women and girls  in India above the age of 9 years are at a risk of developing cervical cancer and for the sex workers, this risk is even higher considering that they often have to engage in unsafe sex. Estimates indicate that 123907 cases of Cervical Cancer were reported in 2020 in India. This number forms 18.3% of the cancer cases in women in India, which is the second highest in the country after Breast Cancer. (Source: Globocan 2020). It must be noted that 25% of all global deaths due to cervical cancer occur in India. (Source: Report by George Institute for Global Health)

There is a Silver Lining and YOU can help! 
The silver lining, here is that Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. HPV vaccination that provides immunity against certain strains of the HPV is now a globally accepted as a safe and effective means of primary prevention of cervical cancer.
However, the vaccination still remains inaccessible to several girls and women in India, and  especially to the sex workers who are at the fringes of the society. Also,  Cervical Cancer vaccine is also not covered as a part of the National Immunisation Program in India and since it is expensive, it remains out of reach for many including the vulnerable sex workers.

Vaccination  against the HPV is the most effective long-term intervention for reducing the risk of developing cervical cancer. Doctors recommend three doses of the vaccine to fully protect a women against the HPV and consequently Cervical Cancer.
The recommended three-dose schedule is 0, 1–2 and 6 months with Gardasil or the Ceravix - the two vaccines approved in India.

Through this fundraiser, I appeal to you to help me raise the sum needed for the  Delhi based NGO  Sachhi Saheli to fully vaccinate 25  sex workers with the Gardasil Vaccine that provides protection against 4 strains of the HPV.  

The approximate cost of fully vaccinating one female sex worker is INR 12710. This includes the cost of three doses of vaccination, pap smear screening  and the cost for setting up the logistics required. (The Pap Smear screening will allow us to assess if the beneficiary sex workers is already exposed to the HPV, in which case they will not be eligible for the vaccine.)

I hope that you will find it in your heart to join me in this initiative so that we can protect vulnerable sex workers against the deadly Cervical Cancer! Please donate as per your comfort ad spread the word! 


Hi, I am Aarna Bhura, a 14 year old student from Sardar Patel School, Delhi. I have been actively engaging with Delhi based NGO Sachhi Saheli for the last two years and have been working with them to create awareness on menstrual health and hygiene.
This fundraiser is very close to my heart as along with my mother who is a social worker, I have witnessed the plight of several women who are unable to access essential healthcare. It is my deepest wish to devote my time and efforts to help as many of them as I can in any capacity possible. I strongly believe that access to proper healthcare, can drastically improve the quality of life of women in India, thereby helping them be more productive members of the society and enabling them achieve to their goals and wishes in life.  
And I urge you to join me in this mission through contributing towards and sharing this campaign, so that together we can do our bit in improving the lives of women!

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