CHENNAI: It has been four days since 32-year-old Victoriya Raj had anything to eat. Life has become hell for this single mother ever since she lost her telecaller job in a bank in April.
"I sent my daughter to my parents house and I have only been able to afford one proper meal every four days. Otherwise I have one tea or a bun per day. Since I am a single mother, people have realised my financial situation and are trying to take advantage by asking sexual favours. I am scared to even step out of my home," said Victoriya in a trembling voice.
The 32-year-old completed her BA in Economics and was working as an HR assistant before joining as telecaller in a private bank one year ago. Her husband abandoned the family when her daughter was two-years-old.
"My daughter is now in her seventh standard. She was attending her online classes but very recently, the school canceled her out saying she could only join if we pay for her books. I am now trying for some money to pay that amount so she can get back to her studies," she said.
Victoriya further added that she has been struggling to buy sanitary napkins for her daughter. "Being an educated woman, I know how harmful it is to use a cloth and how important sanitary napkins are. I have been requesting NGOs to send at least napkins for her if not rice and dal."
When asked why Victoria is not staying with her parents like her daughter, she said her sister is living in the house and she is scared nobody would marry her if a single mother lives in the same house.
Like most others, she is also unable to pay rent for her house and is being asked to move out. "Everyday has become uncertain and I'm just living for my daughter. I have tried in numerous places for a job and all people ask for is sexual favors. I have not even been able to mortgage a jewel because of this. Being a single mother is already very challenging and Covid made it all the more difficult," said Victoriya.