Why are sex workers refusing to give mud for Durga idols?

The sex workers of Sonagachi refused to give soil for the idol of Durga again this year. The flourishing patriarchal, brahmanical society which has traded the body of women for centuries has also sold the mud from their houses, but now sex workers say enough is enough. Prema Negi reports

There is a special relationship between the biggest red-light district of the country, the Sonagachi area of ​​Kolkata, and Durga Puja. The relationship is special in the sense that the idol of Durga is made from the soil brought from the courtyard of sex workers. This mud is considered auspicious for conducting Durga Puja.

However, for the past few years, sex workers have been refusing to give the mud from their courtyard and instead are celebrating a Durga Puja of their own, one of the main festivals of Bengal. The reason for refusal is Durga Puja itself. Even though the mud from their courtyards is considered sacred, they are not. Thousands of rupees are collected from them as donation for the Puja but they are not allowed to even enter the pandals. They are treated as if their mere presence will pollute the pandal and make it unfit for the Puja.

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