Espousing the cause of domestic helps, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit favours fixing a minimum wage for them.
“When we talk of minimum wages for the labour workforce, we should also have minimum wages for domestic workers,” she said at the launch of a skills development programme for them.
The wages can be worked out based on the hours they put in, she said adding, her government will work out the issue with the labour department. Pointing out that domestic helps have become an integral part of households, Dikshit said society should be sensitive to their emotional needs.
“I would request all to call them didi (sister) in recognition of their contribution to the well-being of the family,” she said.
The programme, which seeks to improve services of domestic workers and enhance their employability, living and working conditions, will train about 250 workers on a pilot basis in Jahangirpuri and Defence Colony.
The programme is a joint initiative of the labour ministry, the Delhi government and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The fees for training will be refunded to the trainees once the programme is over, the CM said.
ILO estimates Delhi alone will need six lakh domestic workers in the next five years. “What makes the initiative special is that it is part of a broader national skill development initiative programme of the Centre to train one million workforce over the next five years,” the ILO sub-regional office director Leyla Tegmo-Reddy.