The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on sex workers. Left without an income overnight, they are struggling to make a living. Those who have access to mobile phones and internet are now turning to phone sex and virtual sexual encounters to keep the regular clientele interested while others are trying to find other means to earn a living.
“Many clients make WhatsApp video calls to the sex workers. If they like her, they strike a bargain,” says Gajalakshmi, former peer educator. Money is transferred into the sex worker’s account, using GPay or any other digital platform. “If the sex worker doesn’t have enough balance, they also recharge the account for her. Many clients are men who are alone during the pandemic.”