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Children of Muzaffarpur sex workers find a voice in handwritten magazine

Muzaffarpur: Normally, the children of sex workers live an anonymous life in infamous streets, without acceptance and respect. But the scene is different in Muzaffarpur where ‘Jugnu’ – a quarterly handwritten magazine whose authors are these children – has become their voice.

The fear of daughters of this underprivileged society prevented them from approaching mainstream society or the media for any problem they faced. Also prompted by a lack of acceptance, Jugnu was born.

Sex workers believe that their children here are trying hard to rise above their conditions. This magazine began in 1994 with the initiative of Naseema Khatoon who grew up in the Chaturbhuj area of Muzaffarpur and is known for her social work.

She said that back then, it was a matter of these girls proving their abilities before the society but they did not know who to trust.

Since 2004, with the struggle to move forward by pushing aside fears and to present courage, talent and dreams openly before the society, Jugnu has been moving forward continuously.

Initially, this quarterly had only six pages, but over time, and with popularity, it grew to 36 pages. This handwritten magazine is edited by Naseema and articles are written by the children of sex workers.

Earlier, this handwritten magazine was issued only in Bihar but now it is issued in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra as well.

On condition of anonymity, a worker of Chaturbhuj said that his articles are presented in spaces such as “Our Identity”, “Letters of Daughters”, “Our Initiative”, “Law”, “Experience” and “Dreams” in this magazine.

Naseema runs this initiative with the help of other children of sex workers who work for free. Boys and girls go out on bicycles and other means to collect news and then handwrite stories for the magazine and issue copies of it.

A sex worker told that earlier, these children used to hesitate in going to any office, but today they meet officials and other people confidently and get information. There are many girls among them.

Recently two journalists of Jugnu met Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Pranav Kumar, who praised this initiative and their efforts.

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