Saturday, May 15, 2010

IGNOU waives fees for sex workers, wards

New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to waive the course fee for sex workers and their wards enrolled with them.

With this initiative, IGNOU becomes the first University in the country to take such a step towards welfare of the community.

''We aim at helping the sex workers weaning away from such activities towards self development and economic independence in order to bring them into the mainstream of social milieu,'' IGNOU Vice Chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai told UNI today.

He said the initiative has been initially taken in Kolkata only.''We are trying to reach to such people in the whole country soon,'' he added.

The University has established a special study centre in Sonagachi in Kolkata to provide educational opportunities to sex workers and their wards. Currently, 11 sex workers have already enrolled under the Bachelor of Preparatory Programme (BPP) at the Centre.

This programme will enable the students to gain eligibility for the degree programmes in the University.

To a question if there were any specific courses these students show interest in, Mr Pillai said, ''Programmes in Social Sciences and Humanities interest them the most.''

Earlier, the University had approved a scheme of fee waiver for the jail inmates also.

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