Jayanti Keshav Parmar, a tailor who lives in Dharavi, a bustling informal settlement of nearly 1 million low-income residents packed into a one-square-mile area in Mumbai, has been stuck at home since March 25 when the Indian government declared a stringent lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Before the lockdown, he worked at a store doing alterations and would make about $200 a month, but now he has exhausted his savings. Out of work for over five months, he has not been able to pay the $80 monthly rent on his compact home in Dharavi since March. His sewing machine at home sits idle, as no one in the neighborhood can afford to have new clothes stitched this year. His wife, who had secured some work as a domestic helper in an apartment in Mumbai late last year, was asked to stop coming to the building because of