Most of the middle-class households in Delhi-NCR have been content with maids available for Rs. 1,000. Now there is a desire and a demand for trained and verified workers but very little understanding that these individuals need different working conditions as compared to the traditional village girls.
“Employers are rarely interested in either going through the trouble of ensuring the worker has a fair working environment or paying a premium that is needed for a trained and verified individual. These workers are often exploited, always disempowered. The vast majority of these workers have never been given formal education and many began working in households when they were little more than children,” said Shawn Runacres of Domesteq.
“Across the country, domestic workers are considered unskilled, although most middle to upper middle class homes depend on these individuals for the running of their households. Indeed it is only recently that the term “domestic worker” has become widely used: many are still termed servants. I am keen that regulation be put in place as this will benefit everyone — the workers will be able to protect themselves and have access to upskilling and education which, in turn, leads to them becoming legitimate members of society and better able to enjoy the growth of our economy,” she said.
Harish K Insa of ‘Domestic Help in India’, said, “Despite the progress, working in someone’s house is still considered a taboo. The workers often lie in their circles that they work in offices or malls. Employers and middlemen also exploit them.”
There are thousands of unregistered agencies and labour contractors in the placement business. “90% of the players are informal, thus, this sector has a history of being unorganised,” said Gauri Singh, founder, The Maids Company. The Hindi speaking domestic worker’s market in the NCR is unregulated. Many of them are unskilled, without reference and, often, unreliable. These workers find placement by word of mouth. Others work through touts who exploit both workers and employers.