This study examines brothel-based Female Sex Workers (FSWs) after their retirement/withdrawal from the sex trade. 100 FSWs above 40 years of age from the Bowbazar red light area of Kolkata were selected through random sampling. A census survey methodology and participant observation was employed for the study. The study reveals that FSWs are further stigmatized and marginalized after retirement. Outside society does not allow them to re-enter. Support schemes from the government and non-profit sector do not exist. Family relations provide little to no support. And while the FSW community can be relied upon to provide some support, housing and medical assistance prove challenging; and, nearly 1/3 of those surveyed found themselves destitute.

Author Biography

Harasankar Adhikari is a Research Scholar, Dept. of Social Work, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, India.