Dr Smarajit Jana, founder Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Samiti passed away in Kolkata today. Dr Jana founded the Samiti is a collective of 65,000 sex workers in West Bengal. Established on 15 February 1992, in Sonagachi, the largest red-light district in Kolkata, West Bengal, India with estimated 11,000 sex workers, Durbar has been working on women's rights and sex workers' rights advocacy, anti-human trafficking and HIV/AIDS prevention
The organisation uses football to fight discrimination against the children of sex workers. They started the Durbar Sports Academy, where football teams of U-13, U-15 and the second division thrived. The academy is located Ramnagar, near Baruipur, 30 kms south of Kolkata. From a Football Coaching Camp, DSA became a residential Football Academy in the year 2015. The success of the Academy Training Program attracted children from mainstream society from all over West Bengal.
An eminent Epidemiologist and Social Community Medicine specialist, Dr. Jana was widely trained and associated with John Hopkins University, Michigan University, University of Washington and University of Leeds among others. As Director of Sonagachi Research and Training Institute (SRTI) based in Kolkata, India, he has developed the most successful HIV intervention program among sex workers in Kolkata. Dr. Jana was the Chairperson of 19th World AIDS conference Hub held in Kolkata 2012 and worked as a board member of the Indian Chapter of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Executive member of the Regional Partnership Forum under UNAIDS & UNFPA and served as a key member of the National AIDS Council(NACO) chaired by the Prime Minister of India. He has been bestowed with several Government Accolades and Public Excellence awards for his stellar contribution to Society and Public Health. Presently he is functioning as a member of the National task force on COVID 19 under ICMR.
Dr. Smarajit Jana is the Founder of Durbar Sports Academy (DSA) and had nurtured its journey from 2011 till date. As President and Chief Mentor of DSA, Dr. Jana was the key person behind the new journey of Durbar Sports Academy to its next level and beyond.