At the mere age of 9, Rani was sold off by her family to a brothel. She was thus pushed into the sex work industry — forced to hide away and live on the streets.
She currently has a roof over her head and lives with her child, but her already-unstable income has fallen since the pandemic started. One of the main reasons being that the customers are scared to engage in any sexual activity from the fear of Covid-19.
Moreover, even though the “night house” provides everyone with free condoms, many refuse to wear them. To add to the misery, policemen often visit her workplace at night and torture her. If they recognise her in broad daylight, they don’t miss out on the chance to harass her either. They know that no administrative or social rule will even care, let alone hold them accountable.
She has no official documentation such as a National Identity Card, which leaves her unable to register for services such as the Covid-19 vaccine. She is not recognised as a citizen and thus, deprived of the most basic of rights simply because she was born into circumstances that led her to sex work.
During the conversation she also acknowledged Bodol’s work and urged them to help her get out of the sex work industry. Rani strongly wishes to get out of this line of work and earn a living through alternative occupation with their help.
Prepared by Rezwana Saima and Nuha Mustafa
This piece was made in collaboration with Bodol and TransEnd.