“COVID 19 lockdown increased our hardships” - Voices from the women-led households of Mumbai
Women informal workers, who are the only earning members of the family, are demanding immediate attention to their issues of unemployment and financial instability.
Mumbai: Saroj Sindala, a 40-year-old single mother from Shastri Nagar in Santacruz area, who works as a cleaner in a private company and as a house agent, is debt-ridden since the lockdown and is trying hard to meet the daily needs of her two children.
“We didn’t receive any help from the government. How much will a single-mother do?” asks Saroj who wants her daughter to study medicine and is now worried of the required admission fee.
Similarly, 39-year-old Arti Netke, also a single mother, lost her job due to the lockdown. Arti is a domestic worker and used to earn around Rs.10, 000 after working at four houses.
With no other income-source, no bank-account to avail any kind of financial aid, Arti is already facing a financial crisis at home; a situation she has to solely take care of while ensuring her son received good education. While some women did receive salary from their employers, many of them were just cut-off by their employers.
Sheela Parab, who used to work as a masseuse for babies and earn Rs.20, 000 per month, also lost her job once the lockdown was imposed. In her case, she is aware of the fact that she will now have to take up some other job as her employers have clearly asked her to discontinue.
“Government talked about employment cards for domestic workers, a raise in our salaries and many other things, but nothing happened. Now, at least give us some opportunity to work,” says Sheela.
As the Maharashtra government extended the lockdown in the state till August 31, survival gets tougher for women informal workers who are the only earning members of the family. They demand from the government, immediate attention to their issues and expect measures to tackle the job problem and to avail a regular monthly income.
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