COVID-19 Relief in Kolkata, India
In 2021, India was facing a humanitarian disaster due to COVID-19 that devastated already marginalized and disadvantaged communities.
Aura Freedom mobilized and is still mobilizing support for a community we know well.
Aura Freedom mobalized support for a community we know well. Aura Freedom’s beginnings were in South Asia and we have extensive experience implementing relief projects with local activists for women and communities.
To support families in India during COVID-19, we are working with our good friend Urmi Basu and her team at New Light Kolkata to support children and families in the Kalighat community of Kolkata. New Light provides shelter, food and education to children of Kalighat’s sex workers and survivors of human trafficking.
The Kalighat community is economically and socially disadvantaged. The children of Kalighat are at risk of exploitation at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. Sex crimes against children in India increased in 2020 and social programs are vital, to say the least.
The support we receive from Canadians is crucial and life changing for so many. For example, support meant that New Light’s Soma Girls Home could remain open and provide a safe place where young girls from disadvantaged families receive education, nutritious food, safe lodging off the street, recreational activities and mentorship from community leaders. It also meant New Light’s other shelter for children at risk of human trafficking, Starfish Playschool, remained open during the height of the pandemic in Sonagachi, another red light district and the biggest one of Kolkata. This was important because many children in Sonagachi had limited supervision, inadequate nutrition, neglected health, and other social issues.