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House secrets


TSI | Issue Dated: May 13, 2007
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House secrets Rakesh Senger

National Secretary

Bachpan Bachao Aandolan

In Indian villages, an elderly person is an uncle. So, 13-year-old Sajho from Jharkhand also had a so-called paternal uncle (chacha) who took her from her parents to Gurgaon and got her employed as a domestic labour.

At 13, she was given the responsibility of taking care of three children. She used to get up 6am and sleep late at night. For the next two years, Sajho lived a miserable life. One day, she succeeded in her attempt to run and met a social worker, who took her to the rehabilitation centre. Alas, this was not to be the end of her plight. Due to frequent beatings, she had forgotten her parentís address. The only thing she could remember was that her uncle will make her work till the money given to the placement agency is repaid or else the he would kill her. There are many Sajhos who are still serving tea, cleaning and dusting the house.

In metropolitan cities, working couples want someone to take care of the house and kids. Demand for young maids is increasing. The illegal placement agencies supply trafficked girls from rural areas of Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan and Goa. The number of these placement agencies is increasing by the day and research by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan found that there are 450 placement agencies in Delhi alone.

Domestic workers should have proper timings which should include medical incentives, with extra pay for overtime. They must and also satisfy the ILO definition of decent work. The formation of a board will guide the domestic workers and also fight for their rights.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017