As soon as MLA Ratan Lal Nath kicked-off a discussion on female sex workers in the state, four MLAs Gouri Majumder, Bijoy Lakshmi Sinha, Tunubala Malakar and Rita Kar Majumder walked out of the Assembly session citing that such discussions might desecrate the sanctity of the House.
Health Minister, Badal Choudhury said, ‘As per information furnished by the National Aids Control Organisation, there are 5145 female sex workers in the state. The State Government is providing them with healthcare facilities through funds allocated by the Central Government.’
Growing number of AIDS patients
As per reports furnished by the State Health Department, the current total number of AIDS patients is 1154. In the financial year, 2012-13, 64,146 patients underwent a blood test and among them, 185 were detected HIV-positive. In 2013-14, among 75,941 samples of blood, 225 were detected HIV-positive. In 2014-15, among 82,442 samples, 264 were detected HIV-positive. In 2015-16, among 1, 02,089 samples, 293 were detected HIV-positive. From April to June, 2016 among 39,940 samples, 331 were detected as HIV-positive. According to the national average estimation, there are 0.28% HIV-positive patients. Whereas, according to the state average estimation, there are 0.29% HIV-positive patients.
MLA Ratan Lal nath stated, ‘As claimed by our Honourable Chief Minister, the average income of the people of Tripura is 71,666 rupees. The CM claims that beggars are invisible in his state. The people are earning their livelihood. But as stated by the Health department, there are 5145 sex workers in the state. These workers as such make their ends meet furtively.’
Nath further alleged, ‘If the average income is veritably 71,666 rupees, then why does a mother have to sell her body to feed her son? Why does a wife have to sell her body to fend for her husband?’
Nath continued, ‘Among 1154 AIDS patients in the state from the current perspective, there are 7 businessmen, 26 children under the age of 7, 37 students aged between 7 to 23, 148 daily-labourers, 119 car-drivers, 7 female sex-workers, 379 housewives, 55 unemployed people, 96 paramilitary troops, 22 private company employees, 44 Government employees, 6 teachers, 107 trekkers, 4 TSR Jawans, 1 agricultural labourer, 6 Asha workers of the Health Department itself, 1 barber and 4 retired persons.’
Nath asked the State Government to take stringent measures for curbing the menace of AIDS from taking a toll over Tripura.