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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