Dimapur, September 24: All Nagaland Domestic Workers’ Union (ANDWU) legal advisor, Limanochet on Thursday said that domestic workers in the state do not have accurate job descriptions and do whatever they are being asked to do by their employers, which he said leads to exploitations. He also termed the scenario as modern day slavery.
Interacting with the media persons here at Directorate of Assisi Centre for Integrated Development (ACID) Hall, Dimapur, coinciding with the nationwide protest called by the National Platform of Domestic Workers (NPDW), Limanochet said that domestic workers should have clear boundaries about the tasks they are to perform and that make the recognition of domestic workers as workers more important.
Sr. Pramila Lobo, Director of ACID and coordinator of National Domestic Workers’ Union (NDWM)- Nagaland Region, representing also the NPDW said that the platform demands all workers should be provided a cash transfer of Rs 6,300 per month for a period of three months (April, May, June) amounting to Rs 18,600 with immediate effect as per the revised list of items & norms (e) of assistance from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)/ National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to focus on relief that should be extended to the vulnerable people whose livelihood has been affected by disaster, and as domestic workers fall into the same category, they should also receive the allowance.
She said that a copy of the demands had been made available to Nagaland Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yepthomi so that the issue can be discussed in the ongoing parliamentary session. She mentioned that similar copies had also been made available to MPs of other constituencies of other states by the NPDW.
The NPWD has been in existence since 2011 and has the participation of 34 unions, five of which are central trade unions.
The platform further demanded that the Government of India implement an urban employment guarantee scheme on the lines of the MGNREGA as it is not sure when the employment situation will normalize and suggested that construction of EWS housing, clearing of clogged drains, service to quarantine centres, delivery of food and medicine to the vulnerable and those in home quarantine, collection of data on migrants returning to work etc. can be included in the scheme.
The platform also demanded a ‘comprehensive legislation for domestic workers’ which will not only raise the visibility of the domestic workers but also will impress on the employers that they too have to treat such workers as workers and contribute to their social security.
Sr. Lobo in her address reiterated the demands of NDWM- Nagaland Region to recognize domestic workers as workers in Nagaland. It may be mentioned that NDWM- Nagaland Region came into existence in the year 2008 and has been actively fighting for the recognition of domestic workers as workers by the state government since 2014.
Besides the recognition, it has also been demanding the inclusion of domestic workers in the schedule of employment facilitating them to have minimum wages, their protection against all types of harassments and social security and access to benefits.
She also asked the employers to treat domestic workers as workers and domestic work as work and provide them decent working conditions. She said that during the lockdown a large number of domestic workers were left unemployed and were stigmatized and pleaded that they should be asked to resume their works and not be seen as disease careers.
Earlier, talking about the plight of domestic workers in the time of the pandemic, Aobendang of NDWM- Nagaland Region had mentioned that the six months have been very critical for the domestic workers and while, with unlocks, the situation has improved, there are still places from where the domestic workers are not being allowed to come out for work by the communities.
He said that during the lockdown, the workers received no support except the rations, which too were not uniform as while some have ration cards, others don’t.
The domestic workers also shared their struggles and demanded that they should be recognized as workers and be entitled to get the benefits that come with it. (Page News Service)