P Lata narrates the circumstances that made her enter this unfortunate profession. Lata had got married at the age of 18 to her boyfriend, who was welder by profession. She worked as a security guard in a Chennai city hospital for a monthly salary of Rs 3000. With two small children and a husband who was getting addicted to drugs, Lata was left to fend for herself.
With very less options left, she went to her neighbourhood in Guindy which had a lot of sex workers and a few NGOs that worked with them. At her visit to Guindy, a sex worker of that area told her that she could claim Rs 100 by registering with one of the NGOs as a sex worker.
Later, Lata was employed at the same NGO to teach children of sex workers in the evenings with Rs 400 per month. During that job a few of the sex workers had referred her to some of their clients. Initially Lata had refused the sex workers request but shortage of money to provide treatment to her husband and with no other option left to get the requried money, she became a sex worker. But a few years later, Lata's husband passed away.
She has around 20 regular customers. "I make all my dealings over phone and entertain my customers only at their own house," she says.
Although her children have no idea about her profession. Her son is a trained welder and her daughter is a college student. "I always made sure that I had an alternative job so that my children didn't ask questions about where the money came from," said Lata. Meanwhile, she is planning to open a food stall in her region to support her family more efficiently.