Pink - A Color of Hope

By Mansha Vij & Flarantxa Pereira

March 5, 2022

“During the first wave, women would tell us about their financial woos, they had no income due to the Nationwide lockdown. They weren’t able to get clients and were left feeling trapped. While ration and short-term financial support were available, that only lasted for a limited time. They needed something more tangible, they needed support and opportunities that would last for the long-term.” 

Akash, an employee at Disha Mahila Bahuddeshiya Sanstha (DMBS), a Nashik-based NGO works with the sex worker community in the city. DMBS is also a part of the Taaras Coalition and the #COVIDActionCollab (CAC). 

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, DMBS with the support of CAC began distributing rations to vulnerable communities as that had been a necessity at the time. When speaking to one of the women, they shared that apart from the ration, they also needed a stable source of income. That’s where the Nashik’s Civic Body’s Pink Autorickshaw initiative came in. 


Community Based Care & Support for COVID-19

Swasti works with the most poor and marginalized communities in India partnering them to make health and well-being real. To break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, it is imperative to provide the most marginalized with practical solutions to isolate and receive care through, Community Care Centers, Home quarantine kits and HelloSwasti

DMBS partnered with a local organization to provide women from the sex worker community with training in auto-rickshaw driving and also helping them apply for their license. The Pink Autorickshaw initiative was the Civic Body’s way of promoting women’s empowerment and ensuring safety. 

Since receiving the training, the trained women have been able to earn a minimum of Rs. 1000 daily and have shared that they are no longer dependent on sex work for their livelihood. The women have regained a sense of independence and are now earning a stable income. Though one of the main hurdles faced was the gender bias which put them at a disadvantage when compared to men but these women powered through.

“Despite the odds and the challenges, these women fight every day to make a living. They deserve our respect and support. They hope to someday be able to end the stigma surrounding sex work, move away from their comfort zones, and make a life for themselves and their families. As DMBS, we can support them as they do that.” 

Amidst this crisis, reaching the last mile is essential, ensuring vulnerable communities have been provided relief and recovery during a crisis are at the center of what we do at CAC. But it is also essential that we work with these communities to understand how we can support them build long-term resilience. Our work surrounding livelihood ensures that we support communities bounce forward. 

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By enrolling you can contribute to and benefit from this collaboration. Also, do encourage other organisations and experts to join hands with us. The key benefits of being part of the collaborative is access to people, resources, financing & partnerships and the ability to make a greater collective impact.

COVIDActionCollab is not merely an aggregation of partners, but is an aggregation of capacities, through which we have developed key high impact initiatives. We have drawn upon our one year’s experience at CAC and engagement with our large constituency of partners to put together a menu of initiatives for funders/investors to support which will save lives and livelihoods, and enable vulnerable communities to 'bounce forward’. Support these initiatives to build resilient communities