#Kolkata: Doctor Smarjit Jana, the founder of Durbar Mahila Samiti, an organization of sex workers, passed away after being attacked by Corona. Smarjit Jana gave new life to at least 75,000 sex workers. She has worked all her life to ensure that the children of sex workers have a bright future. Since 2020, Sonagachi has been working tirelessly to raise awareness in other sex villages in Kolkata. With the death of Smarjit Babu, the unscrupulous sex workers in this state practically lost their guardians. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also expressed deep grief over his death.
The Chief Minister wrote on Twitter, “I am saddened by the death of Smarjit Jana. By building a sex workers’ cooperative, he gave every sex worker a bank account and brought marginalized women into various social benefits. Sympathy for his family and followers.”
Saddened at the passing of Dr Smarajit Jana. He founded the unique cooperative of sex workers who went on to have bank accounts & identity cards which entitled them to social welfare benefits. Champion of marginalized & stigmatized women. Condolences to his family & admirers
– Mamata Banerjee (aMamataOfficial) May 8, 2021
Durbar was formed in February 1992 in an attempt to find out about Smarjit. Initially, the struggle to understand the trafficking of minors and the rights of sex workers began in his hands. There was also the fight against the deadly disease AIDS. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Smarjit set a precedent for the whole country by prioritizing issues such as sex workers’ savings and citizenship documents.
Smarjit Jana and his team have taken various innovative projects at different times to bring the children of sex workers into the mainstream. In 2015, Durbar set up a football academy at Baruipur Ramnagar. Children under 13-15 had the opportunity to play there. Under Durbar’s leadership, various plans were made throughout the year to make the children self-reliant. From the cooperative in Sonagachi to Durgapujo, it all started with his hand.
The fame of Smarjit, an epidemiologist and a partner in the public health movement, spread all over the world. University of Michigan. Smarjit Jana has worked closely with Johns Hopkins University, University of Washington. Smarjit Jana led the 19th World AIDS Conference as Chairperson. In a word, his death is an irreparable loss to the public health movement, the movement to protect the rights of sex workers.