A pandemic like covid-19 comes with several collateral damages: so, domestic workers like other vulnerable classes are at risk of being dealt with disrespectful and discriminatory care at medical facilities and police violence meted out to lockdown “violators”
However since, the lockdown and restrictions constructed by the government and imposed by them to maintain the social distancing, but ever since the lockdown more than the middle class families, it has distressed the worry over the domestic workers.
Women Domestic Workers Struggling for Basic Necessities during Covid-19 Lockdown, in order to understand the situation of the current inaction for the welfare of domestic workers, one needs to relook at the deep-rooted injustices these workers have been facing for decades.
But with strict imposed curfews and physical distancing directives enforced to limit the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 disease. Nonetheless, the domestic workers which are residing in the slums of suburban areas, It’s actually the only means of survival. After the lockdown, many leaders, politicians and activists appealed to the upper middle class and middle citizens to return their domestic help on paid leave.
“Sameena a thirty year old resident of Qureshi Nagar near the railway line, in Kurla east, said her employer have not been responding to her calls since the lockdown has begun , ‘ whenever I call them –she said’ and the watchman does not let us inside the building because of the coronavirus fear. My employer asked me not to come just before the lockdown began and that was it. They did not say anything about my salary.”
“Rs 4,500 a month is not a huge number for the workers of Sameena. “They’ve got a plush residence. In this one structure, they’ve got three rooms. I’ve been cleaning their house and washing their dishes for a year. In moments like this, they’re meant to be a little cautious. How are we going to keep up throughout the lockdown?” she said.’’
But the COVID-19 lockdown, in its second prolonged extension, has made survival precarious for the millions of the domestic workers across the country. All the exploitation and experience’s provoked the domestic workers during the lockdown, indicates the aggravate form of injustice’s and disregards towards domestic workers in public realm.
The systemic denial and rebuff to recognise domestic workers as ‘workers’, has always left them at the mercy of the employees. The institutional ignorance and blindness is often constructed and affected by structural dynamics and prejudices (discrimination) and has been addressed and debated in policy discourse. The life-threatening obstacles and challenges that domestic workers are stumble upon during the lockdown emerge out of the various & multiple vulnerabilities that have been sustained in this sector so far.
The distress of the domestic workers has an accurate link with the political and legal non-recognition of domestic work. In the Indian Backdrop, the class and caste with socio-cultural, economic and political lives and capital have much contributed to the legislative lethargy.
The gross condition of domestic workers is predicated on a lack of understanding of the difference between their work and occupation. Society often tends to neglect the contribution of ‘affective labour’ (amount of care and education,) that cannot be quantified and remunerated using the measures of productivity.
IN MY OPINION
According to my standpoint , the government should be confining and appealing to the middle class people for stop being biased in nature, and blaming these workers that fear of spreading virus done by them, which needs to be stopped and confronted as a rumour .
A crisis of this magnitude requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, so it will serve any government better if they do not alienate civil societies, NGOs and social workers in the fight against COVID-19, and take all the help they can get.
The government should provide with relief aid to these domestic workers, they should declare at least 2 lakhs amount for each family, who are working as domestic workers.
They should be also having the access to the hospital and treatments, if they test negative for the COVID019. They should be made aware and educated with help of NGO’s and collaborating them to spread and educate , awareness about the coronavirus and its advantages and disadvantages and tell them about the precautions guidelines send by Aayush ministry in help of curbing such crisis .
Article Written By-Sakshi Mehta