August 20

Businesses Working With Slavery Survivors in India Seek Ways To Offset COVID

By Anuradh Nagaraj

Bhimavva Chalwadi, the supervisor of a laundry in Goa, is back behind the counter but it is not business as usual.

A trafficking survivor, 35-year-old Chalwadi has been looking for new clients since businesses started reopening as India gradually exited from a 11-week COVID-19 total lockdown, with many restrictions still in place across the country.

Hotels were among the biggest clients of Swift Wash laundry, but with India’s tourist haven still waiting for business to pick up, there is very little work for Chalwadi and her co-workers who are also all survivors of human trafficking.

“The laundry had never closed before, not even on a Sunday,” said Chalwadi, who was “dedicated” to a temple as part of a banned custom that saw girls led into a life of prostitution and slavery in the name of serving Hindu gods.

Photo courtesy of Adam Cohn.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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