This is done not only in the context of negotiating the risks of sex work but also in the broader context of other needs, for example money, love and sexual desire.

While sexuality is a taboo in India, the analysis contributes to the understanding of discourses of women’s sexuality and the sexual behaviour of sex workers in Chennai.

There are rowdy elements who extract money from us. So we want the government to take a pro-active role and give us a dedicated place to carry out our work.

Kalaivani, secretary, IFPEC in a conversation with the India Today Online. I am helping other sex workers to handle the pressure from clients and police.

Gunavathi (name changed), says she likes this profession very much and she cannot do any other work. I feel if only the government establishes an exclusive place for our work it will minimise our hardships.

He says that there are nearly 1 lakh sex workers in Tamil Nadu and over 14,000 in Chennai alone.

IFPEC is also involved in helping the police to prevent human trafficking.

This thesis also engages with the feminist debate of selling sex as profession or as oppression of women’s rights.

I argue that sex workers actively negotiate sex work and their lives with the means at their disposal.

In Mumbai there is Red Light area and in Kolkatta there is a place called Sonagachi. "We are subjected to untold humiliation by the police.

The law enforcers themselves exploit us by demanding money.

This will help us to a great extent to reach out to them, propagate and educate them about the relevant health issues.

The police should also be educated on the relevance of this situation," says a senior state government health official.

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