Post lockdown, women in low-paying jobs take the heaviest hit

While ILO estimates India to have more than 4 million domestic workers, trade unions and NGOs put the figure at 10 million

Life as a domestic help in Bangalore always had its own perks and perils for Renuka. But now with the coronavirus cutting down her income, Renuka knows she’s in for more bad times. Months after the government relaxed the COVID-19 lockdown in phases, Renuka hasn’t been able to find enough work to get back on her feet.

Some of her employers are concerned that she might be a potential carrier of the coronavirus. She and others like her are still restricted from entering the housing societies of their employers.

All this has caused a 70% drop in her income. Besides the financial burden, increased incidents of requests for sexual favours from male employers in return for money have left Renuka absolutely horrified.

However, until nine months back, her situation was quite different. In her mid-30s now, Renuka had come to Bangalore 15 years ago from Hubbali in north Karnataka to earn a living. Married at the age of 11 and tortured by her husband and family, she was forced to leave home and her three kids behind to come to Bangalore for work.

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