Friday, 25 May 2012

DW in India organise

Maids to mukhyamantri: bring us home to jobs
- Dignity at stake in Delhi, tribal girls want welfare schemes that work

New Delhi, May 23: The national capital is increasingly becoming a city of broken dreams. The bulk of its workforce in the domestic sector — maids, babysitters, cooks and washerwomen — are tribal girls mostly from Jharkhand, besides Bengal, Odisha and Assam, and none of them is happy with jobs that more often than not demean their dignity. 

At a weekly meeting of the Domestic Workers’ Forum (DWF) — a union of about 3,000 maids in the national capital region organised with help from the Catholic Church — some of these young women from Jharkhand poured their hearts out on routine humiliation. Almost all of them want to go back to school or plough fields and win back self-respect.
They also have a simple and precise suggestion for their mukhyamantriji (chief minister): create jobs back home.

The DWF has members of all faiths, but most attend church services on Sundays. The practice serves as a cover from their tormenting employers and an excuse to attend meetings, study, sing and get bare minimum healthcare. Many church-run institutions in Delhi are part of this network. St Columba’s School in central Delhi is one such rendezvous where these girls meet in the basement of an auditorium for eight hours every Sunday.

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