We often joke how ‘Maid in India’ is more important than ‘Made in India’, especially for those non-working women who have totally given up doing any chores within the confines of their home, of course in the name of empowerment. Well, don’t call us sexist because this is a personal choice for all — if you can afford to hire a domestic help for your comfort no one should be judgemental about the same.
However, during an unprecedented time where social distancing is the only key to keep us and our families safe from the Coronavirus Pandemic, many daily wage workers have been compelled to stay at home as well. While this situation is a luxury for several salaried employees who are being paid to sit and sip gin in their living rooms, some heartless humans have forgotten the plight of the underprivileged who they have employed.
We came across a Facebook post by a lady named Veenaa Bakshi from Mumbai, who shared an awful and abhorrent incident that she witnessed recently amidst lockdown. Veenaa writes,
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I went looking for chai patti and came across the most heart rending sight. Maids – at least 50 of them standing in quiet groups all around the inner streets of Oshiwara, begging, requesting… thoda daal chawal kharidke de do ya thode paise de do. (Give us some food or money)
Their fancy madams have told them kaam nahi toh pagar nahi.
Two of them told me they have been begging since morning. They have no clue how they’re going to survive. Room rents to pay. Children to feed. Small scale factories are shut their husbands are at home too. I asked one of them if has been treated badly by her madam, will she go back when things normalise. She smiled a sad smile and said koi chaara nahi hai. Hum logon ko choice kaun deta hai? (We will go back, there is no choice).
I helped 3 of them with some money. Dont know what more to do.
So why dont you Lokhandwala and Oshiwara madams step down or call them to your building and give your maid a month’s salary???
That is the least you can do.
Most of you reading this might be fuming with rage, however, this is the sad reality and hypocrisy of our society. Many of the so called upper class ladies, who don’t leave a stone unturned to harp how women empowerment and equality is their birth right, are the same ones who behave in the most irresponsible, insensitive and unsympathetic manner towards these less fortunate women.
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This is not just about the difference in class, but a mirror to those women who think they deserve all rights without having to fulfil any moral or ethical duties. Also, this is not to paint all women with the same brush, as we have come across many other stories where both Men and Women are going out of their way to support whoever they can in these difficult times — some have even paid advance salaries to their domestic helps and drivers.
It’s high time you name and shame the other segment who have left their ‘social dependents’ on the road to beg, at a time when humanity is crumbling and responsible approach is the need of the hour.
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