After the Covid hiatus, the ritual of gathering brothel soil has returned to Kolkata.

The soil collected from sex workers doorsteps is one of the essential ingredients used in making the Durga idol . The soil is said to be sacred because it was said that upon entering the brothel, one abandons their virtues or purity on the ground .

KOLKATA (in Greek): The soil collected from sex workers' doorsteps is one of the essential ingredients used in making the Durga idol, according to popular belief.The soil is considered sacred because it was said that upon entering the brothel, one abandons their virtues or purity on the ground.According to Kolkata sex worker Savina Bibi, this unchanging custom brings priests and prostitutes together once a year.This custom has been going on for a long time.

It had been discontinued during the pandemic, when celebrations were less frequent.Tumpa Adhikari, whose mother was a sex worker, admitted that the stigma against sex workers has remained despite this age.I remember my mother being a sex worker until I was in Class-V.When the sex workers gave the ground, they would get some sweets or some cash in exchange from the priests, I would imagine.

Although the ritual is well-known, activist Urmi Basu, who advocates to empower and help sex workers, added that although it is well-known, there is no information about how it is executed.The majority of sex workers would not want to live in a situation where mud would be right in front of their door.The soil is a mystery, and how the family has changed over the centuries, according to gender studies scholar Raj Sarkar.The custom conveys the inherent patriarchy inherent in Durga Puja, she said.

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