Among informal sectors, domestic servants are a unique group in India. They are ubiquitous but remains invisible. Highlight the challenges faced by them and factors responsible for these challenges, also suggest remedial measures.

Domestic servant sometimes invariably referred as ‘domestic help’ are people who work in houses, doing works like cleaning, cooking, etc.

  • Ubiquitous – as they are everywhere, even government vacancies are there (e.g. Peons).
  • Invisible – as they are mostly not part of formal economy, their pay structure is greatly varied and is rarely fixed. Also their job is of limited hours, hence they remain invisible.

Challenges faced:

  • Exploitation by employer.
  • Sexual abuse to female workers.
  • No social security, moreover pay cut if they take medical or emergency leave.
  • No holidays, their work is of continuous nature.
  • Job losses are very frequent, without any remedy.

Factors that contribute to these problems:

  • Insensitivity towards them.
  • Lack of organisational structure among workers like some union, etc.
  • Lack of negotiating power.
  • Abundant availability in case of firing.

Remedies:

  • Data gathering by government to keep track of them for welfare schemes.
  • Formal Council for rehabilitation of such sexual abuses.
  • Penal provisions for exploiters.
  • Strong laws for protection.

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