Meet Alaka, a house cook from Ballygunge, Kolkata shares her struggles in the times of Coronavirus lockdown

Just like Alaka, many domestic helpers are struggling amid this COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to know how she is leading her life in the times of Coronavirus lockdown.
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Meet Alaka, a forty-six-year-old cook, who has been earning her living by working in five houses in the Ballygunge area, Kolkata. She is struggling hard as she is left with very little money and is making ends meet by bringing some food items. Just like her, many domestic helpers and their lives were upended instantly due to the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. The crisis has put the house helpers such as maids, cooks, drivers and security guards in a dilemma. They fall under the unregulated category and they hardly have legal contracts and thus, this makes them rely on the mercy of their employers who can either fire them, not pay them for their leaves or pay them. They also don't have safety nets like pension or insurances.

While many of us are continuing our work life by working from home, there is no work from home option for house helpers. She said, "I am staying at home only, not being able to work. So we are at home for the entire day. And also, I am making sure to wash my hands with soap frequently." When asked what she does the entire day, she stated, "I am either stitching blouse or Kantha (blanket) and other household chores. I am doing these things so that I don't get bored". She also revealed that she is facing a lot of financial problems. "I am facing a lot of financial issues. Right now, I don't have that much money so I have to do everything within that limit. After all, our income is low and this now is affecting even more."

ALSO READ:Meet Megha Gurav, a house cook from Kandivali, Mumbai who shares her struggles amid the lockdown

When prodded about how this situation will impact her future days, she said, "Definitely, this will affect us in the future as well. Because I have some loan to repay so I will not be able to complete the EMI this year as I will not have enough money. So now, I have to wait for the next year to finish off the loan when things will all be alright."

We have seen many people stocking goods and groceries so that they don't have to go outside often. Unfortunately, many including Alaka are unable to stock food items. "I am not storing groceries for future use. If I need 1 kg of rice then I'm buying only that much and not an extra 5 kg. And right now, there is no ration available as well. Nothing is free, I won't get anything free of cost, so I am purchasing what I can afford right now."

ALSO READ: Meet Bhavna Bharat Jethwa, a house cook from Vile Parle, Mumbai shares her struggles amid the lockdown

Lastly, she said, "I wish everything will be alright and everyone will be ok. And hoping that we all get over this crisis.

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