|Name:||Shamima Sultana Setu|
|Studio Master:||Ashik Vaskor Mannan, Hasan Ahmed Chowdury|
|University:||American International University- Bangladesh (AIUB)|
Sex workers are an extremely marginalized group of people and often denied access to basic health or housing services. Daulatdia, a village of 1,600 sex workers who serve 3,000 men every day on an average, is one of the largest brothel in Bangladesh. Opened around 1988, it is currently one of the 20 officially sanctioned brothels in the country. However, it was in existence for decades before it became a settlement big enough to count as a village. The brothel feels like a typical bazar street with lines of fruit and vegetable stalls, tea stands and even a TV repair shop. The only immediately visible difference between Daulatdia and all the other small towns in Bangladesh is the presence of so many women in public. The alleyways of Daulatdia village hold 2,300 single-story rooms. Late morning is the peak time for business; and there is a long taxi rank of cycle rickshaws waiting to take the client back to the quayside. This place hides a dark secret, it’s entirely another world.
The project focused on detail study of existing structure of these brothel system runs in Bangladesh. The existing socio-political discrimination and stigma are producing a worst scenario in the brothel which leads to unhealthy, unhygienic and marginalized living conditions. Hence, while improving their living conditions, it’s equally important to understand the pre-condition, their lifestyle as well as the economic chain that drives the system. Ideally, the project sought to openup new windows of opportunities in addition to the improvement of their existing built environment. The aim is therefore not only to lessen their current desolation but also creating opportunities for better life.
Major interventions were done by creating homestead within a business area with required privacy and a healthy lifestyle. Other intervention goals included creating opportunities for the sex workers to move forward (by physiological therapy for mental capability as well work opportunities); ensuring a safe and sound childhood for their upcoming babies (ensuring privacy and safe environment); opening up the space outer wards ensuring security that may help both the sex workers as well neighborhoods. Hence, the main aim of the project was to create new opportunities for women and their children by increasing interaction between the marginalized and mainstream societies. In that sense, the economic hub is the handshake point of these two communities where the sex workers can find an alternative livelihood by selling their handmade products. A training center, perhaps with collaboration of local NGO, has a particular role to play in this regard.
Hence the project rethinks the ‘bazar‘ and the ‘pora‘ vita where the ex-worker living at present and proposes a rehabilitation center, training centre, health care, school both for sex workers and their children. In the landuse plan, land parcels are allocated for agricultural production and fish farming so that the villagers are encouraged to come and mix up with them to create a socially just environment.
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