It happened few months ago at Theni District of Tamil Nadu, India. A woman infected and in the last stages was admitted in a hospital here. The members of the association formed by women sex workers took turns to look after the ailing woman. They brought in freshly cooked food for her, fed her and cleaned her up. They sat with her in turns to cheer her up. They asked the woman's daughter, a young girl who lived in another district, to come and see her mother. The girl came in the morning and with in few hours her mother breathed her last. The members immediately pooled in their earnings from the day and performed her last rites. Not only that, the next day they gave what ever they had and collected a substantial amount. I, along with another colleague from Siaap ,was there on a field visit also gave some amount. The members never asked us to give money. They collected the amount and decided to give the money to the little girl and accompany her back to her district. Every thing was so quick, matter of fact and handled with utmost efficiency.
It is often said that women in sexwork expect money (incentive) to attend meetings. Here is a bunch of women who proved otherwise. They had expected nothing in return when they took care of their fellow being.They were so full of love, caring and giving all that they had to see a smile on the woman's face before she died. Most of the women, deserted by their husbands or expolited by others, are in this profession to feed and educate their children. That particular day they had not thought of their own child back at home.
I have learnt many beautiful and meaningful things in life in my 10 years of working with them. With every interaction I learn from them. The energy flows from them to me. This transfer of knowledge from them has happened to many of us in Siaap.