UNDERPAID AND EXPLOITED

With numerous NGO’S and laws coming from the working people, one sect remains forgotten. Often forgetting their right and also being involved as the defaulter, the maids and the domestic help service remains forgotten. The maids constitute a signifying feature of every household all over the city as well as the nation but unfortunately, their rights are overlooked and uncared of even. On an average, the domestic service in India gets paid Rs. 3000 for cleaning, washing etc. despite such a lot of work, the maids and servants aren’t paid properly.Seema, a housemaid working for 11 years in the Roshan Gate locality says she is being paid Rs 1000 for cooking, cleaning, washing for 7 days.  This clearly shows the underpayment of work. When asked why she hasn’t asked for an increased payment she said that they are removed from the job and a wrong accusation f stealing, kidnapping is blamed on them thereby ruining their reputation for new recruitment.It is well known of the miserable life condition of the domestic service category. Many of them have joined this labor at a very young age while some after marriage. Rarely maids are assigned by contract deciding the minimum working hours, wages and timings but very few are allowed to stick by it. “Extra work is often given with no extra wages,” says Nazim, a house servant. He has to manage the household, cooking, car cleaning and picking up and dropping of his employers’ children. He feels financial exploitation is high among his category people but complains of no authority or agency to help their situation. Police cases and courts remain unhelpful for them as the employers turn out to capable enough to close down the case or alleged them with false crimes. In 2014, ILO’s director for South Asia, Tine Staermose, said “They are such a big informal sector in India, but they are invisible and unprotected,” The number of maids has surged by close to 70 percent from 2001 to 2010, says the ILO, adding that there are now an estimated 10 million maids and nannies in the country.This lack of protection for the maids and nannies in the country gives rise to other major problems if child labor, workers harassment and sexual abuse. Child labor despite innumerous laws and rules still persist in the society. Many households employ children for their efficiency of work and lesser demand for money. Often it is these children who are financially as well as physically exploited. Beaten up, sexually harassed these children do not have an option as they are pushed into this work by their own parents for the survival of their livelihood. The lack of legislation and regulation of the domestic labor sector has led to exploitation, not just by employers but also by traffickers working for placement agencies that have mushroomed to service the demand for household help. The government in 2009 drafted a National Policy on Domestic Workers, which spells out minimum wages, working hours and conditions, social security protection and the right to form trade unions and develop their skills. But the policy has still not been approved by the cabinet. ILO’s Staermose said the draft policy would greatly help to address the plight of millions of maids in the country. “The National Policy is a low-hanging fruit because it has been through a consultative process and it is ready to be passed,” Staermose said.“Once it gets passed, the invisible workforce will become visible. They will have an identity as workers and that means 10 million workers will move into the formal sector.”
In Aurangabad, there exists many agencies providing domestic services but no NGO’s exist to help such people. This seems to be a responsibility the state as well as the people ought to take to consider the plight of the working class and help them face such harsh conditions.


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