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#GirlsVoices: Roma, my daily life

A photo diary of my daily route to work - and economic independence.

My mornings are very busy. I have to start early in the morning with various house chores. I help my mother to prepare food in the morning while getting my siblings ready for school. I then drop my brother off at school. After ensuring all morning chores are done, I have to hurry and get ready for work. 

Roma preparing food in the morning before work

The next step for me is to reach my workplace safely. I have to travel 7kms to go to work. Before reaching the nearest bus stop to catch my bus to work, I have to walk through the very unsafe alleys of Delhi, facing unwanted and inappropriate looks and remarks from strange men.

Roma ready to travel to work

When I reach the bus stop, I have yet to face another challenge: Public transport in Delhi is not designed to handle the growing population of city, making children’s and young people’s safety on those buses a big concern. Verbal aggression in buses are constant and very common.

It takes me close to an hour to reach the store where I work, and whenever I am late, I have to work overtime to compensate

One of Delhi's overcrowded buses

By the time I finish work and I am ready to leave, it is dark outside. I have to walk 500 meters to reach the nearest bus stop, which not always reassuring for me. The city has a notorious reputation of rape-capital of the county, which is why walking through the dark patches can be dangerous and scary. I need to be very careful and vigilant in order to stay safe. Going home from work at night is never easy nor safe for women in my country.

After returning home, I quickly get changed and start helping in the kitchen and with other house chores. As I pay for my siblings’ tuition fee and do not want them to go through everything I went through to find a decent job, I often help them with their homework. 

Roma helps her sister with her studies

I strongly believe that girls should be given equal opportunities and encouragement so that they can realise their full potential. I never miss an opportunity to speak about the need for economic empowerment of young people, especially girls.

Roma is a keen advocate for girls' rights