Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Freedom Firm team members have been collecting information from their contacts in the red-light area and networking with other organizations during the pandemic. Our social workers are calling up survivors and making sure they are safe and have adequate supplies. We are also planning to supply groceries to 10 women (most of them are from Bengal) and their families. Most of the red-light areas are closed – Budhwar Peth, Shevgaon, Sangli and Miraj.
Many of the women from other states returned home just before the lockdown but others were not so fortunate and were forced to remain in the brothels.
Moneylenders looking to make a quick buck have upped their rate of interest from 10% to 20% making it near impossible for the women to borrow money to buy provisions.
In Shevgaon the food scarcity situation is severe. Women have resorted to begging for food, some of the women are senior citizens. Even though the High Court issued an order to shut all the red-light areas, the red-light area in Amalner is still open and the local police are happy to look the other way as business continues in spite of the COVID-19 threat.