Unpaid, Discriminated, Domestic Helpers Across India Await Govt Help Amid Lockdown
Source: Rehydrate

'Unpaid, Discriminated', Domestic Helpers Across India Await Govt Help Amid Lockdown

This article is more than 1 year old.

"Some of the employers' think that since the domestic workers live in shabby, unhygienic conditions they can bring viruses along with them," says social activist Naresh Kumar.

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The lockdown norms may have been eased in Haryana, but Roshini Devi, a 40-year-old migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh has nowhere to go.

She used to work as a domestic help in a posh colony with monthly earnings between ₹10,000 and ₹12,000. But after the lockdown was announced she lost her job. Facing an unprecedented situation like many, the mother of three exhausted all her resources and was left with no money.

"This is not only my sob story. This is the trauma under which over 1000 domestic workers have been undergoing for the last 70 days", added Roshini Devi.

"I would share very cordial relations with my employers who sometimes would praise me and promised to help with extra bucks if ever needed", reminded Roshini.
He husband Ram Kishan who is a farm labourer was also rendered jobless after amid the lockdown. The steady monthly income flow stopped for the last two months. Their children are the worst sufferers especially their daughter who is going to face her board exams next year.


"To study online, an internet-enabled Smartphone is required. We have burnt our savings in buying essentials during coronavirus time. From where should we pay for the Smartphone and internet package that does not come cheap?" she asked.

Sangita Devi, another house-maid who lost her job to the lockdown due to COVID-19. "My employer did not pay me April and May because I was unable to go to work", Sangita added.

She could not digest the flat and harsh refusal of her employer in the crisis time and tried to convince herself that she would be given a salary in the end.

"When I asked from my other acquaintances who worked as house-maids about the monthly remuneration, they shared the same denial by their employers", she added.

The employers told them that they need money in the COVID-19 times as the future looks uncertain and they are unsure about their future and might have to lose their jobs.

According to social activist Naresh Kumar, who runs a free school for migrant workers children, 1150 domestic workers in his touch were not paid for the last two months.

Most of the domestic workers are single, widowed women and at times are the only source of income in a family. They have a big responsibility on their shoulders.

One of the reasons, Kumar said is the employers' mindset. They think that since domestic workers live in shabby, unhygienic conditions they can bring viruses along with them.

"They look at them with suspicious eyes and when they go back to work. They are told not to come till all things come to normal," Kumar added.

He said that on the other side, the state government is helping them a little by devoiding them with food grains.

"The government has schemes to give free food grains including wheat to poor people with ration cards. Migrants workers are being asked to fill the form to get free rations but the scheme is only on paper", he added.

A protest by domestic workers were also organised outside the mini-secretariat Rohtak demanding distribution of free ration and work to them so that they can feed their families.

The demand includes-help of 7500 to domestic workers so that they can meet the essential requirements of their families.

Also Read: "Lockdown Flattened Wrong Curve": Industrialist Rajiv Bajaj Points At India's 'Failed' Strategy

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Creatives : Abhishek M

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