By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: They are the lifeline of our homes yet they are ignored and their problems hardly noticed by most of us. In most of the cases maids are not aware about their rights. A meeting of maids of Jamia Nagar locality in New Delhi was organized today to educate them about their own rights and highlight their problems.
Around 40 maids, who live mainly in the slums of Jamia Nagar, participated in the meeting. They talked about their day to day problems and regarding health and education of their children.
R-L: Ali Akhtar and Shoeb Ahmad with the domestic workers
Tanzila, from domestic worker side, expressed the problems of her colleagues — Shabana, Zainab, Zareena, Noorie, Hamida and others.
“Ham isliye chup rehte hain kyon ki hamare badle koi bolne wala nahi hai. Koi bhi hamari pareshaniyon ko nahin uthata hai. (We remain silent because there is no body to raise our concerns. No body talks about the problems we face,”) said Tanzila.
The meeting was organized by National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM) in collaboration with Asha Parivar and Yuva Koshish, NGOs working with the marginalized and oppressed section of the society.
One of the biggest problems with the domestic workers, as it came out in the meeting, is that they are not organized. Faisal Khan of NAPM,Shueb Ahmad and Syed Ali Akhtar from Yuva Koshish listened to the problems of the maids.They assured them of their help in getting them organized and they will create awareness about their rights also.
Ali Akhtar (3rd from L) and Mujtaba Ahmad ( 3rd from R) facilitating Hamida (in the middle) with a shawl
On this occasion, Faisal Khan said that the civil society is wasting too much of recourses on seminars, conferences and meetings. While such programs might be important to create awareness among the educated class and for advocacy purposes, “change can’t be brought by ignoring the lowest strata of our society,” he added.
At this occasion, NAPM, Yuva Koshish and Asha Parivar felicitated 25
domestic workers with shawls. It was also decided that these NGOs will organize a Pad Yatra (foot march) in Okhla slums from January 26-30 for the cause of the local maids.