Domestic helps’ union to boycott Noida’s Mahagun Moderne society
The Gharelu Kamgar Union (GKU) has called for the boycott of residential society, Mahagun Moderne in Sector 78 following the residents’ decision to arbitrarily blacklist 81 domestic workers.
The housing society had witnessed a riot-like situation on July 12 after a domestic worker went missing. Her husband came looking for her in the morning with a group of other domestic workers and their relatives. The group clashed with the security guards and allegedly pelted stones at the building and residents. The police had to be called in to restore order.
Dr Maya John, convener (GKU) said no domestic help would go to work unless and until all of them are taken back on work. “We condemn the high-handed and anti-poor approach of Union minister Mahesh Sharma, who held a meeting with Mahagun residents on Sunday and sided with the residents by insinuating that the domestic workers involved in the incidents of 11th and 12th July are ‘Bangladeshis’,” she said.
John said that the minister did not bother to meet the domestic workers living in slums just across the housing society, and allegedly misused his authority to pressure police officials present in the meeting.
“The investigation is being compromised by politicians, who seek to stoke communal hatred against the predominantly ‘Bengali Muslim’ working-class population living in slums nearby,” John charged .
Dr Mahesh Sharma, the local MP, backed his statement of supporting the Mahagun residents. He said, “I had condemned the domestic workers for pelting stones. If the domestic workers were facing problems, they were supposed to report it to us or the police. No one in this country has the right to take law and order into their own hands.”
A resident of the society said 81 domestic helps have been barred from the society because they were part of the mob and they were identified through CCTV footage. The resident, however, added that it was difficult for the people to manage without helps.
“The decision of civil liberties groups to approach the police in this case is in response to the razing of portions of the slums near Mahagun, and also due to growing concerns that the line of investigation undertaken by the Noida police is contributing to a communally charged situation,” the GKU said in a statement.
“We know that domestic workers would suffer in terms of their livelihood, but the decision has been taken for their welfare. The union cares for their rights and we don’t want them without work. This call will definitely press the residents to accept all domestic workers back on work,” Maya John said.
She said that the persistent raids that are publicly announced as ‘confidence-building measures’, have turned into a nightmare. “Slum dwellers, many of whom are impoverished Bengali Muslims and labourers from Eastern UP and Bihar, are living under fear as the police have begun threatening visits to ascertain the ‘nationality’ of the labourers and to corner those allegedly involved in the incident at Mahagun Moderne,” she alleged.