Delhi maids claim they get no salary hike or break
Even though controversy behind the Mahagun Moderne maid which had escalated into a full blown class war between the rich and poor, there are many domestic workers in the Capital city whose experience echo a similar pattern of exploitation.
Rani, (14) from Chhattisgarh left her house at a tender age to support her family. With the help of an agency, she came to the city to work as a full-time maid. Later she was hired by a family in Tagore Garden through the agency. Her work kept increasing while her monthly wage stayed the same.
"I wake up around 6 am and start my work. After making food, I clean the whole house. Besides, because of kids, I have to keep cleaning the house at least four to five times in a day, wash and iron clothes, prepare dinner along with many other chores, all for 5,000 rupees. My work never ends."
Her family was forced to continue the work owing to the acute shortage of money. After working days and nights, she finally got back to her village, and upon her return, she demanded an increase in her salary, which was denied following which she was fired from the house.
Many other full-time house maids like Rani are exploited on daily basis with an enormous amount of work and minimal pay.
In certain houses, maids who worked full time, required a break after hours of slogging.
Maya worked in the house in Pitampura, where all she was allowed to do is work. Many times she demanded a little extra money so she can buy a basic phone to listen to some music. Maya even asked to deduct some money from her salary but her employers never agreed.
Another maid, Phulkumari, working in a household in Kalkaji, complains that she was not treated well in the house. "I don't get to sit in a room with an AC even during afternoon hours. Also, if once in a blue moon I want to watch television, they do not let me watch it. And they complain about high electricity bill and ask me to shut it down when I get a chance to watch after my work," she said.
Usha, a domestic maid working in Rithala, had to run from pillar to post to get justice for her daughter. Her daughter was subjected to repeated incidents of eve teasing but the cops had taken no action despite her repeated attempts.
"My daughter who is sixteen had to face eve teasing incident last month. She was going through a park in Budh Vihar when some youngsters on a bike eve teased the girl. She had to rush back and tell me about the incident. I also lodged a police complaint but no action has been taken for the past 20 days," she said.
Usha then had to resort to hiring a lawyer with the paltry sum that she was paid. She had to convince her employers to give her some money for the case.
"I managed to hire the lawyer after I managed to get around Rs 5,000 from all the households where I work in," she added.