Many women and transgenders involved in sex work occupy the footpaths every evening around MG Road waiting for potential customers. Pedestrians who take this road are constantly harassed by motorists mistaking them for sex workers.
Speaking to The Beacon about her experience on MG Road, Vidya Ramesh, a receptionist at a private firm said, “I come here to take a bus home every day and while I wait for a bus, men on bikes stop to stare at me. They approach me asking how much I charge them?. It is disgusting and scary. On some days I look for police and most often they are not here.”
The road leading to Manipal center from MG Road is lonely in the evenings and the streets are dim lit, providing a perfect space for illegal activities. Mallikarjun, Sub Inspector Ashok Nagar police station said, “We send police regularly on patrol to look for any illegal activity. We book people under Karnataka Police Act who are trying to cause any inconvenience to the public.”
When asked about the inconvenience they are causing to the pedestrians, Shailaja a sex worker said, “Where do we go to do our business, we come here only in the nights. We know the public are disturbed but we cannot be blamed for what motorists do to them.”
– Santosh Chandrashekar, II MS COM