While rumor mills are abuzz with the reemergence of Covid with increasing number of cases in the city, we can only hope the history doesn’t repeat. The year 2021 was far worse than 2020 with thousands of young lives lost to the deadliest variant of the virus.
While with morbid news, there also came in news of everyday heroes who risked it all to be out there & help others. One such hero who made the loudest noise for a gesture most Mumbaikars who have preferred staying away from was Shalin Bhanot, who became a voice for the women who were completely cut off from the civilized society, the sex workers Mumbai’s biggest & oldest red light area.
The actor is currently locked away in the Bigg Boss house. For the uninitiated, Shalin had been discreetly working with non profit organisations to provide relief to the people struggling with their finances to pay off medical bills during the pandemic.
He even risked himself during the peak of the pandemic & visited the streets of Kamathipura, Mumbai’s biggest red light area that houses about 314 sex workers, who had been hit the hardest in the pandemic.
Shalin paid them a visit & also provided ration to over a 100 families, he also distributed masks back then which are now not mandatory.
He’d said in his earlier interviews that his vision was solely to raise awareness for Government bodies & organisations to come forward & help the women in these areas.
In a very disheartening candid conversation the actor had with the press back then he’d said, ‘It came as a shock to me that women had to resort to soliciting their bodies for as low as Rs. 50 to bring food to the table & feed their children. Most of them don’t have basic essentials like a mask or sanitation products. People are generous & across India, various funds have been raised towards the poor & oppressed but it is unfortunate that sex workers don’t get any aid & have to thrive in such poor conditions. Some of them don’t have a pair of sandals to wear too.’
‘A social worker reached out, he wanted to bring to light the horrifying living conditions of the sex workers in the area & to bring it to the attention of the privileged communities to come forward & help. I tried my bit but I hope more people come forward & join my cause,’ he added.
Shalin’s act got everyone talking & a couple of months later, the movie Gangubai also brought light to the fate of these sex workers who are thriving on bare minimum.
While Shalin continues to entertain & win hearts of audiences on Bigg Boss, we hope his act was not a lost cause & the right organizations look after them.