Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Freedom Firm has partnered with a local NGO to supply food and rations in red-light areas in Sonagachi, Kalighat (two large red-light areas in Kolkata), and outlying suburbs and villages to victims and survivors. We have connected with four more NGOs and will be reaching out to more families in the area. The Freedom Firm team spoke to the police and asked them to provide vehicle permits in the event of an emergency. A permit is the only way our team can physically drive to a location where a victim may be in urgent distress. We also connected the girls to the closest police station so that the police can bring provisions for them.
Though many women from red-light areas across Kolkata managed to return home, a majority of them are stranded in brothels. All red light areas have been shut down now for over a month. Many brothel keepers and local club owners, the women’s employers, are not giving them food. With zero savings and very little money, most of the women are starving. Their fear right now if the virus doesn’t kill them, hunger will. The women from brothels in Haldia are especially scared as Haldia was recently declared a COVID-19 hotspot. The police have tightened security measures and are not allowing anyone to go in or out.
In certain areas, local government entities have been providing food, sanitizers and masks to the women.