Maharashtra domestic helps want separate budgetary allocation

March 16th, 2008 - 11:39 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) Thousands of workers from Maharashtra’s unorganised sector, mainly comprising domestic helps, are set to hold a three-day rally here from Monday, demanding a separate budgetary allocation for them. The demonstrations, organised jointly by the Unorganised Workers Security Federation and the National Domestic Workers’ Movement (NDWM-Maharashtra branch), will be held at the historic Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.

“We demand that domestic work be brought under the Minimum Wages Act and the government should constitute a State Welfare Board to register social security schemes for domestic helps,” NDWM coordinator Christin Mary told IANS.

On Jan 9, commemorated as Domestic Workers Day, over 3,000 workers took out a silent procession called ‘Dignity Yatra’ from Chaithya Bhoomi (B.R. Ambedkar’s samadhi on Dadar seashore) to Kamghar Maidan in central Mumbai to voice their protest against the government’s apathy.

“The demands of domestic workers have been gathering dust in the government files for quite sometime. The state government has been giving us assurances but so far no concrete action has been taken in this regard,” Mary said.

“We want domestic helps be provided with identity cards and social security benefits. We have asked three state assembly members - Raju Shetty, Narsey Adam and Kapil Patil - to raise the issue of domestic workers on the floor of the house,” she said.

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