Surviving the Pandemic – Struggles of women who leave the RLA

Imagine finally leaving your traumatic life to have a new beginning. Hopeful right? Razia* and Latha* moved out of the red-light area with the same hope and then the lockdown during the pandemic hit them hard. Read their story.

I am Razia from Kamathipura, a red-light area in Mumbai. Latha is my friend from Grant Road which is also a red-light area. We were exploited there and we faced many challenges in our lives. Due to the police raids, there were no new customers and we were left with little to no income. So Latha and I decided to move to Badlapur with her baby. I was very happy because I lived my life in the brothels and I was
hoping that now it will be a trouble-free and joyful life. We finally started our life in Badlapur where everything was new to us. Suddenly
there was a long lockdown due to COVID-19. I had some savings left with which we managed for a few days. After we ran out of money, it was very difficult for us. We did not know anyone who could help us as we were new to this place. I was worried for Latha’s daughter because there was nothing for us to eat at home. It was very difficult to even get one meal a day. When we could not go on anymore, I remembered my friends at Oasis India.

I knew one Oasis staff who often came on outreach to the red-light area and I contacted her. I shared the difficulty that we were facing. They arranged for provisions and ration on the same day and I was really overwhelmed. We managed with this provision for a month. Oasis family helped us twice and supported us during this lockdown.
*names changed

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Dear friends and patrons,As 2022 draws to a close, I would like for us to look back at a year that heralded in new directions for Oasis India: year one of the 5-year strategic plan of new partnerships, a year of social enterprise, and organisational sustainability.While it was certainly challenging in many ways, it also showed how strong our commitment to the vision and mission are as an organisation – be it as board members, supporters, members of senior management, the national leadership team, or project staff.We can take pride in the fact that we resumed the annual Mukthi Bike Challenge this year, launched Oasis India’s 5-year strategic plan for 2022–2027, and started a new integrated community empowerment project in Assam—Oasis Academy Guwahati and Football for Life (FFL). We also initiated potential partnership discussions with PCI-Mizoram for anti-human trafficking and Thrive for Good under food security, etc. These great achievements lays the foundation for our work in the upcoming new year.There were notable life-changing stories of beneficiaries in each of Oasis India’s hubs and the many other challenges we overcame as a team. Successes achieved in a time when we were forced to adapt to very adverse circumstances So, I want to thank all our staff for the hard work and commitment they have shown over the past year. Our combined strength is what makes us flourish as an organisation.Thank you, our supporters, for walking this journey of growth and development hand in hand with us. As you celebrate Christmas with friends and family, I hope you will look back on the year with the same sense of accomplishment and joy that we all feel at Oasis India.I wish you and your family a happy Christmas season and a prosperous 2023! Best regards,Mangneo LhungdimExecutive Director,Oasis India