Editor’s note: This post is an update on the story of Trina, who was in desperate need of an apartment after being evicted from her current apartment, along with the 8 young trafficked girls and children of sex workers she takes care of. After being rejected from many apartments that did not want to rent to single women, she has finally found an apartment!
Written by Trina Talukdar, a community activist in Mumbai, India who is running an NGO where she houses and educates marginalized women.
3 eviction notices, looking at 17 apartments and 13 rejections later, Kranti finally has a home again!
It is not so much our landlord we have to thank as our real estate agent. When we found him, he seemed like the only person we knew in Mumbai who understands and values our work. Although we didn’t tell him we work with trafficked girls and children of sex workers (that would be too much to digest even for a very understanding and progressive Mumbai-an!), we told him that we work to educate marginalised girls (a technical truth!). He took the personal responsibility upon himself to find an apartment for us and said he wouldn’t rest until he did. And he did!
Even with him by our side, we were turned down by 3 landlords, who also wanted to rent out “only to families”…same old dialogue. We even paid a deposit to one owner, and were celebrating that we were finally getting an apartment, when the owner called back, returned our deposit and said he’d reconsidered and didn’t want to rent out to single girls.
And then 5 days after we were supposed to vacate our old apartment, with people threatening to have us thrown out everyday, and us writing official letters of request for more time, we finally found a landlord who agreed to rent to us! We pounced on the situation, had all the legalities done as fast as possible, and moved in within 2 days of finding the apartment.
But when we entered, to our horror, we saw the walls had been painted an ugly shade of yellow. I wasn’t complaining — at least we weren’t going to be homeless now. But the Revolutionaries had a master plan! They picked the colours themselves, put on rags, borrowed a ladder from the neighbour and got to work painting the walls themselves. No, we absolutely do not have permission from the landlord to paint the walls and I’m scared thinking what the consequences might be, but our walls look BEAUTIFUL! Check out the photos of our new apartment here!
Now, all settled into our new home, the girls are back to school, dance and kung fu classes, and training to be leaders who will change the world tomorrow!
This post was first published by Changents.
Photo used with permission from Changents.com.