Dimapur, March 23: Even as the Government of Nagaland continues to remain aloof about the whole movement of domestic workers for the past several years for “recognition” and “minimum wage”, the domestic workers in Nagaland refuse to leave the battle.
On Wednesday, coordinator of National Domestic Workers’ Movement (NDWM) Nagaland Region Sr. Pramila Lobo UFS stated that every time the ministers change, they need to start over and questioned the government of India that while the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted ‘Convention 189’ in the year 2011 in which India was one of the signatories, why even after 11 years the government has neither ratified this convention nor put legislations in place to see that domestic workers obtain rights like all other workers.
She was speaking on the occasion of National Demand Day of Domestic Workers here at W.W.C. Hall, Lakeview Colony, Dimapur.
She noted that the domestic workers are not asking for anything extra but only what they deserve and they need laws, the security schemes that come under the laws, and demanded that Government of Nagaland should include domestic workers in the scheduled employment of Minimum Wages Act.
She reasoned that domestic workers here are overworked but underpaid and have no rights and noted that while children are brought from eastern parts of Nagaland to Dimapur with the promise of education, they are not provided education, used as domestic workers, and the parents of such children have no awareness about their rights.
She also asked the domestic workers on the occasion to know their rights and advocated the need of separate legislation to protect the domestic workers.
Earlier, speaking on the contribution of the domestic workers to the society, Grace Gonmei also questioned the intent of the central and state government behind no fixation of minimum wage and how long they are going to take.
She mentioned that proposals about the same had been submitted four years ago to the state’s labour department, but no news was received. She referred it a crime that despite knocking on the door of the government every year, the domestic workers get no recognition and their rights are being delayed.
She said that domestic workers are giving their time sincerely, take care of the works, the sick, the children, sometimes even the animals, facilitating their employers to run their errands in time, and that is indeed a contribution to the economy.
Sharing the issues, challenges, and demands, representing the domestic workers, Maya Sahu said that while the world cannot run without domestic workers, they are not being treated as humans or seen as a part of the family. Sharing similar thoughts, Temsunaro stated that domestic workers don’t receive any leaves or rights. Another domestic worker Asenla Sangtam added that lots of Naga domestic workers even don’t recognize themselves as domestic workers as they are unaware and see them as merely “help” and the lack of recognition is causing the workers to not receive the right wages.
Over the years, the domestic workers in the state have been demanding the ratification of ILO Convention 189, national comprehensive legislation for domestic workers, enact (Nagaland) state legislation for domestic workers, and enroll domestic workers in the schedule of employment entitling them to minimum wages.
The event was attended by a large gathering of domestic workers and was held simultaneously along with 17 other states across India.
(Page News Service)