New Delhi: The usually busy stretch from Ajmeri Gate to Lahori Gate in New Delhi, known as G.B. Road, is now mostly empty, with only a few women waiting outside their homes to get rations. This is the red-light area of national capital and is one of the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
There are currently more than 1,200 sex workers on G.B. Road. After the lockdown, many women left for their villages, but some couldn’t manage to leave. One woman, who hails from Tamil Nadu, said she wanted to go back to her home. With no buses or trains available, walking remains her only option. “Ek saal lag jayega ghar pahunchne mein agar paidal gaye toh (It would take me a year to reach home if I walked),” she said, adding she wouldn’t take the long walk back.
For sex workers, these times are more difficult than fighting the invisible virus from a health perspective. The pandemic affects their very livelihood, considering the nature of their job. “The impact of the lockdown will be seen in this area for a long time, even if Covid is gone,” said one women.
There is no help from the government, so sex workers depend mostly on NGOs for essentials. The women emerge from their houses one by one to take their share of rations, which, they told ThePrint, are limited.
ThePrint’s photojournalist Manisha Mondal walked down G.B. Road to capture a glimpse of these women’s lives now.
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