Overworked, underpaid, abused: Inside the world of India's domestic helps
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  1. #1
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    Overworked, underpaid, abused: Inside the world of India's domestic helps


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    In the decade after liberalisation, there was a nearly 120% rise in the number of domestic workers in India from 7.4 lakh in 1991 to 16.2 lakh workers by 2001, says author Tripti Lahiri quoting census data in her recently released book, Maid In India. Women constitute over two-thirds of the workforce in this unorganised sector, which also includes chauffeurs and security guards, according to Lahiri’s analysis.

    Female domestic workers usually come from India’s least-developed regions, such as Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam. Their journeys are cross-country and transnational, as they seek work as servants in affluent homes. They are, often barely of legal working age, their wages less than the minimum fixed by the government. Their employers range from India’s elite to its nouveau riche, many of who still believe in the traditional divide between servants and masters. Abuse, mental, physical or sexual, of these women is not uncommon. One such dispute between a family and their Muslim domestic worker led to a riot-like situation in a gated community in Noida on Wednesday, July 12.

    This is the world of Maid in India.

    Through anecdotal evidence, Lahiri charts the sector’s trajectory and details the business of brokers and agents and exposes the workers’ limited access to justice and formalization. She also draws from her own personal experiences of engaging domestic help. “We eat first, they later; we sit on chairs and they on the floor; we call them by their names and they address us by titles,” she writes.


    Read more at: http://www.sify.com/finance/overwork...zAjchegcg.html


    Either this article is dated and out of touch with today's reality or it is localized.

    When I speak with housewives in India, they say that the servants rule and terrorize them. The pay for the servants has gone up and the demands are exorbitant. Some servants want their own assistants.

    So there is a disconnect.
  2. #2
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    Maid servants in our colony are THE rulers. They can take leave for any number of days; no Qs asked!

    When we leave for six months to the U S of A, full salary has to be paid; no discount!

    Hot break fast has to be given and no pazhayadhu! They won't wash the cloths.

    At the most, they will dry the cloths, after the cloths are washed in the machine!

    They will 'keep' at least four month's advance with them; job security!!
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasad1 View Post


    Either this article is dated and out of touch with today's reality or it is localized.

    When I speak with housewives in India, they say that the servants rule and terrorize them. The pay for the servants has gone up and the demands are exorbitant. Some servants want their own assistants.

    So there is a disconnect.
    The article refers to North India....In states such as TN they rule....Our maid servant in Chennai speaks so much, does whole day gossip, always on the mobile, she knows much more about each individual in the house and neighborhood...The rates in Chennai are very high for services..I pay Rs 3 for Dhobi per cloth in Delhi while in Chennai it is Rs 6 to Rs 7...

    We wanted to get an attendant for my mom in Chennai..They were charging Rs 650 for a 10 to 12 hour shift...Here in Delhi it is half that rate
  5. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgane View Post
    The article refers to North India....In states such as TN they rule....Our maid servant in Chennai speaks so much, does whole day gossip, always on the mobile, she knows much more about each individual in the house and neighborhood...The rates in Chennai are very high for services..I pay Rs 3 for Dhobi per cloth in Delhi while in Chennai it is Rs 6 to Rs 7...

    We wanted to get an attendant for my mom in Chennai..They were charging Rs 650 for a 10 to 12 hour shift...Here in Delhi it is half that rate

    I agree with this post.

    In our house we do have a 'Servant Maid' and she is regular with her own timings. On Sundays she do have different timings and we all have to adjust with her necessarily.

    We pay her liberally... and she helps us at times running extra mile.

    It is nothing but reciprocation.

    I need to appreciate her for she comes neatly dressed, does her job diligently and leaves as early as possible as she needs to cover more houses with the limited time left at her disposal.

    Only thing where we need to be very cautious is that our sharing our family information with them. These house maids do have a habit of sharing information of every house to their other employers as tips (something like broadcasting). And in some houses, they love to chit chat other's family developments which may be at times prove interesting also. But we have no time for all these and we don't chat with her normally and avoid diplomatically.

    But we know that she is the window and our family affairs will be shared through her to our neighbours..

    When my daughter visits us from U.S of A. this information will be spread to the entire locality and equally when my son leaves for Germany or Denmark on official work. LOL

    And here is an article dates back to 2015

    I think this topic varies to different States, Regions, etc

    The shocking way we treat 'servants'!

    'In this resurgent India, class is the new caste. We are shaken up only occasionally, and briefly, when a battered, tribal teenager from Jharkhand looks us in the eye from our closet,' says Shekhar Gupta.

    A well-to-do Gurgaon couple was accused on Thursday of repeatedly beating up their 14-year-old maid-servant, a tribal from Jharkhand. She was, in fact, rescued from behind a cupboard where she was hiding, or was forcibly confined.

    She had bruises, cut-and-slash marks. She told TV channels she was beaten routinely, thrown against a wall and even cut with a knife. Perhaps the most chilling part: she said her employers beat her, and all they said was they 'didn't like' her.

    This was a most extreme case of servant abuse, but it is not isolated. It was also in Gurgaon recently enough that another house-maid, in this case of Nepali origin, was rescued from a Saudi diplomat's home after being confined and repeatedly raped and brutalised, ISIS-style.

    Read more at: http://www.rediff.com/news/column/th...s/20151019.htm
    Last edited by Falcon; 17-07-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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  8. #5
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    TN is a liberated state for domestics.

    The various welfare schemes for the poor has improved their lives a lot.


    They are able to set conditions for working-number of hours, timing of work, wages for each item of work, leaves both authorised and unauthorised, festival bonus etc.

    They keep upto date info on their employers and gossip about them to relieve their work fatigue. Many have TVs , Mixie, grinder and consumer durables given by a

    generous govt.They are avid movie and serial watchers on TVs .They take off on festival days of their community and have the best of food and liquor.They live well.
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