Legalise prostitution

This refers to Rakesh Wadhwa’s piece, “Whose body is it?”

Today sexual harassment, a product of repression, has become a crime. Sexual

torment is a crime, sexual pleasure is not. When somebody accepts sex work as a profession and if the person has no problem with it, I don’t think it makes sense to criticise the person or the profession. What we lack is dignity of labour. Prostitution is part of every society and prostitutes are into flesh trade to support themselves. If those people are willingly doing this, then they should have the freedom to exercise their choice.

At the same time, it is important to realise that it is the society that gives birth to prostitutes most of the time. And most of them get into it because of abject poverty rather than the lure of fast money. Perhaps, all involved in this business feel it is better to die on their feet than to die on their knees. So I firmly support Wadhwa’s argument for legalising sex. If we look at this issue from a sex worker’s point of view, we can realise it is their work that is actually taking care of their entire family. They feel financially secure.

Alankar Khanal, via e-mail

Dirty water

The drinking water supplied by the Nepal Drinking Water Supply Corporation is not free from contamination and that has been true for years now in the Kathmandu Valley. The water contains minute solid components that change into a cloudy substance residue overnight.

This quality of water is sure to give rise to water-borne diseases. But the perpetual shortage of even this water is a different story altogether. We have had water shortage even during the peak rainy season, but the shortage becomes worse during the March-May period. Whatever little we get is dirty and surely not fit for drinking. The main reasons are pipe leakage and unclean water tanks. If pipelines are repaired and storage tanks cleaned, the quality can surely be improved.

Amit Subedi, Samakhusi

AIDS victims

HIV/AIDS kills more than 8,000 people a day. The virus damages the cells of our immune system. It is estimated that five per cent of HIV cases develop AIDS within 10 years after being infected. The time taken for HIV to develop into AIDS greatly varies from person to person. However, there is little awareness regarding the spread of this disease in the

developing countries like Nepal. It is important to have effective programmes to make people aware that AIDS is primarily transmitted through infected mothers to the foetus, unsafe sexual practices and infected needles. Awareness is supremely important. At the same time, HIV patients should have the right to lead a normal life like any other person. They too deserve love and care of family and friends. But in Nepal such patients are ill-treated and

ignored. Activists should provide support for the HIV/AIDS victims so that these patients can become agents for building an AIDS-free society.

Saru Shrestha, via e-mail

No drugs

It has become a fashion these days to take drugs. Many young people are embracing drugs without the knowledge that they are harmful and it is difficult to shrug off the habit. The harm is not merely physical as several drugs even interfere with the functioning of the brain. It is important for the family members to carefully monitor their children and guide them away from drugs. Teachers too can help in the process by being vigilant in schools and colleges.

Basanta J Rayamajhi, Shankardev Campus