Global Advanced Research Journal of Library, Information and Archival Studies (GARJLIAS)
April 2014 Vol. 2(1), pp 008-013
Copyright © 2014 Global Advanced Research Journals
Libraries for Socially Disadvantaged People in Bangladesh: A new approach for changing lives from sex workers to human resources
Associate Professor, Dept. of Information Science and Library Management, National University of Bangladesh.
Accepted 26 March 2014
In Bangladesh sex workers (SWs) and their children are one of the most vulnerable and socially marginalised groups. There are very few organizations in Bangladesh who are serving for them to change their lives. Many Government and Non-Government Organizations are working just for harm reduction only. Concern Worldwide (one of the Irish-based International Organizations) has recently implemented a project namely “Jibon Paribortone library” means “Library for Changing Lives” to support 1,000 sex workers through dedicated brothels-based libraries, provided them with the opportunity to make their own choices for a better future. The main aim of setting a brothel-based digital library is to improve the quality of life of the sex workers and their children in a sustainable way through training and learning by the innovative approach of a library. The project realizes that as of today in Bangladesh the marginalised communities do not have access to a traditional library. This damages educational outcomes for many (Yunus, 2009). The author was appointed as Library Consultant of the project. It was an amazing experience that based on the demand of the Sex workers; the author had to collect and prepare the digital resources and different audio-visual aids and organise live skills training. After that he had to try for involving sex-workers with different IGAs (Income Generating Activities) by maintaining liaise with other organizations, community people, civil society people, policy makers and so on. He also had to work hard on changing public attitude as well. To motivate Sex workers for achieving social skills on different micro-professions (like garments work, tailoring, sewing hand fabrics, maid-labour, making clay stuffs, parlouring, making hand sweater, beautician, hair cutting, cooperatives, etc.) short video documentaries have been made and presented on different IGAs (income generating activities). As a result of skill training through libraries, 200 SWs (Sex workers) fully changed their profession to tailoring; beauty par louring, bag making and 300 SWs have increased their sources of income from other trades. Thus brothel-based libraries have turned into integral part in the lives of the sex workers. The basic aim of the paper is to share the ideas on how a considerable number of sex-workers have been involved with different IGAs, how their children have been admitted in government and public schools during the last couple of years by the help of the library services. A number of good case studies will also be discussed.
Keywords : Libraries, Disadvantaged People, Sex workers, Human resources .