Open house: should domestic helps/maids be allowed to work?
RWAs can’t dictate
Office-bearers of all resident welfare associations (RWAs) are acting as ‘zamidars’ of their respective group housing societies and colonies. The order of the UT advisor clearly states that RWAs have no business in the movement of people to residents’ flats. Members of such bodies should be booked. They have no right to stop entry of any person to anyone’s residence, unless he/she is a known criminal or an anti-social element. The administration needs to act fast and ensure that government mandated instructions are followed.
Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur
Their families are dependent on us
Maids take care of our families despite facing hardships. Their families are dependent upon us. The aged and ailing people depend on them as they make their live worth living. The Administration must allow maids/domestic workers to work while taking all precautions.
Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali
Doing own work is natural exercise
Allowing maids for domestic work has always been a voluntary decision not mandatory. It needs restraint especially with elderly people at home for their safety. People should make a habit to do their own household work. If people can manage by changing their livelihood so can maids. Only lethargic people are in favour of allowing maids at their homes.
Dr Shailja Beniwal, Chandigarh
Follow protocol and get back to work
Domestic workers should be called back as it will help them earn for their families. They have suffered financially more due to the pandemic lockdown. Side by side precautions can be taken and protocol followed by them for everybody's safety. House cleaners should be asked to properly get sanitised and wear masks. They should be imparted training about the protocol and called back to work.
Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali
Dictatorial attitude will not help
RWAs are proving dictatorial in disallowing maids/domestic workers especially to houses where chores cannot be managed without an extra help as in case of senior citizens and those with health problems. I strongly believe that poor migrants should be re-engaged all with precaution like the use of face masks by the house owner and the maid, maintaining hygiene and proper distancing during the time the latter are on the residential premises.
Prof Manjit Kaur, Mohali
RWAs cannot stop them from working
While , employers should continue to pay salary of house maids irrespective of their daily physical presence on compassionate grounds, the restriction by the UT Administration for carrying out duties in permissible hours should not stand in their way. Also, RWAs cannot stop them in doing their duties at a particular house. It lies on the employer’s wisdom to strike a balance between his/her safety in the Unlock 1.0 and the necessity of maid for doing household chores.
SC Luthra, Chandigarh
They are part of society
Informal labour like domestic workers/maids are also an integral part of our social system. Therefore, we cannot ignore them. So, there is no harm in allowing them to work while taking all necessary precautions.
Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali
Onus to check hygiene on employers
There are few in the country, who pay domestic help full salary if he/she is not able to attend to his/her duties. During the lockdown, many didn’t get their full or any wages at all. Now, with the Unlock 1.0 in force it does not make sense to hold them back. Most people have started going to offices. Hence, they are not able to do household chores. Besides, maids are suffering due to financial crisis. It will be a win-win situation if maids perform their duties with all required precautions. The onus is on house owners to check their entire hygiene.
Yash Khetarpal, Panchkula
It’s time to let them return to work
While the fear among housing complexes regarding coronavirus is not invalid, can residents afford to stay indifferent towards the plight of their domestic help? These are the women and men, who work for us on daily basis. We interacted with them in pre-corona days. There are genuine requests for house cleaners from senior citizens, patients, pregnant and working women and nursing mothers as the normal functioning of households isn’t possible without maids. So, they have to be re-employed after taking due precautionary measures.
Sanjay Chopra, Mohali
Provide masks, PPE gear to maids
Domestic workers/maids faced double whammy when the Administration and the self-anointed ‘thekedars’ in RWAs and guards at housing complexes blocked their free passage. Domestic helps/maids are integral part of urban family-lives and deserve rightful access to work and earn. Nonetheless, as the Covid-19 monster is not leaving us too soon it is incumbent on those engaging extra helps to provide ace masks and PPE kits to them for mutual benefit.
Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula
Domestic work maids’ only source of income
Most of us have an itch to let our maids back on the job. No household would call helpers from Covid-19 hotspots and containment zones, a condition that both camps are likely to accept. For women with poor background and limited education, domestic work is the only source of income. Maids have to take precautions and get screened for flu like symptoms. If you are a person of means, pay them wages knowing that they will be happy to come back to work.
Vijay Malia, Chandigarh
Allow them to work again
Yes, we have been reading in The Tribune about many residents welfare associations (RWAs) refusing to allow domestic helps rejoin work at houses where they had been working before the lockdowns. This is absolutely against government instructions. We have allowed our maid to come to work with face mask and sanitising hands. Action should be taken against those, who stop maids from performing their lost jobs by asking them unwanted and irritating questions.
RK Kapoor, Chandigarh
Senior citizens depend on them
Domestic workers/maids should be allowed to work as senior citizens, young residents and people, working from home, require assistance. But, precautions devoid of any sort of humanistic carelessness have to be taken. We should keep in mind that poverty compels unskilled slum dwellers and rural poor to seek employment as domestic help to earn a living. For the middle-class, it provides cheap labour that keeps their homes running smoothly.
Narender Yadav, Chandigarh
Don’t allow maids to work for six months
The danger from Covid-19 has not subsided. Domestic helps reside in slums of the tricity. Allowing them to do routine work is bound to increase chances of spreading disease as social distancing and other precautionary measures cannot be ensured. Their engagement, especially in thickly populated areas/housing complexes will bring greater risk. As such, the district authorities should not allow them to restart work for another six months, but ensure free food/ration to them.
KC Rana, Chandigarh
Pandemic has created terror in world
Truly the Covid-19 pandemic has terrorised the whole world to such an extent that majority of us dread either to venture out or to welcome a close relative, forget about maids. But our lives, especially of women are upside down without maids. During the Unlock 1.0 when there are so many relaxations maids should be allowed to work. It will serve double purpose. One maids can earn their livelihood and second working couples will get a helping hand. But, maids must follow the guidelines while working.
Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Chandigarh
Working couples can’t manage
Domestic helps have become our necessity. Working parents can't even think of leaving children alone at home. All offices have resumed work. It is becoming difficult for parents to choose between going to work or staying at home to take care of their children. Work in houses is the only source of income for domestic helps. So, maids must be permitted to work.
Priyam Aggarwal, Chandigarh
Don’t let covid fear thwart initiative
We the people and the authorities concerned should pass a joint resolution that rather than let the fear of contracting contagion thwart our initiative, we would strictly take all precautions and insist that domestic workers/maids, who resume their work, also do so religiously. All must realise that without daily help of domestic workers/maids our lives are prematurely crippled. We should be determined and willing to adopt a holistic precautionary approach to the current problem.
DR SS Bhatti, Chandigarh
RWAs must be fair, not partial
‘Dood ka jala chhanch ko bhi phunk phunk kar peeta hai’. The skepticism of people and RWAs in not allowing domestic help to come back to work is understandable. However, RWAs should be fair and not partial. Working couples definitely need domestic help. Life will not be the same. We have to adapt to changed conditions with due precautions. Re-employing our helping hands is our social duty.
Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali
Help poor and needy
Everyone should remember “Help a lame dog over a stile”. People/ RWAs should not be skeptical about allowing domestic help to come back to work. They are poor and needy persons. Their condition is worse. It’s difficult for them to survive. It is true that a close mouth catches no flies. People are also facing many problems to manage in the absence of domestic workers. Some workers are careless. House owners should educate maids and make sure they take precautions.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali
If barbers can work, why can’t maids
A large number of working couples and old persons living in Chandigarh need help of someone for doing daily chores. The lockdown has been relaxed and professionals like barbers are allowed to work. Domestic helps too should be permitted to work. Both house owners and domestic helps should take strict precautions while the latter are at work. Thermal scanning and sanitisation of hands and feet of maids is must.
Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh
Don’t deprive them of right to work
Domestic workers/ maids should be allowed to earn their livelihood. They should not be deprived of their right to work. In the present circumstances, it is also necessary to take precautions like medical examination of maids to make sure they are fit to work. Maids should not suffer on account of an unorganised sector or society. We should be more lenient towards such workers.
Tarlok Singh, Mani Majra
Employers, domestic helps face crisis
It is not only domestic helps, but their employers too are in dire straits. Domestic helps, who had been on job for years’ altogether, need work and wages. Their employers being scared are uncertain to allow them into their houses. The Administration has left it to employers and RWAs, who are divided on the issue of allowing maids to work. Elders and working couples need maids/domestic helps. In such a situation, domestic helps should be allowed to work while taking all precautions.
Jagdish Singh Jassal, Patiala
Work at each house on alternate days
No one can take 100% precautions. Even when we take every precaution, we tend to make a mistake. It is difficult for us and our domestic helps to survive without each other. Still, we cannot risk our or their lives by allowing them at our places every day. Instead, maids/domestic helps can visit every house on alternate days. This way, maids will be able to earn some money and also help their employers in staying safe.
Tanishka Pawar, Zirakpur
Be realistic & find amicable solution
Domestic helps cannot to be kept away from work as they are finding it hard to sustain their families. House owners are also finding it difficult to manage themselves, particularly working women. RWAs have to be realistic and find an amicable solution. Let domestic helps come duly sanitised and screened. An arrangement can be made to pick and drop them. Single males/female workers can stay within colony/housing complex till Covid-19 situation improves. They can be provided protective gear and their tests should be done regularly.
Colonel R D Singh (retd), Ambala
Do daily work with all precautions
Covid-19 has changed our lives and thinking. The disease can be transmitted through symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers, but the life must go on. Calling maids/domestic help to work is upto an individual house owner. As far as I'm concerned my domestic help is coming since May 17. So many diseases and viruses have come and gone. This too will go. The need of the hour is to do our daily work with necessary precautions.
Samita Kaur, Chandigarh
They need money to feed their children
We have to learn to live with Covid-19 pandemic. One or the other day the lockdown has to be lifted or many people will die due to unemployment and hunger. Citizens have to be educated on behavioural changes they need to adopt for survival. Working women are finding it difficult to manage office and household chores. Domestic helps are cannot survive without money. The need of the hour is to resume our duties while taking all precautions.
Charu Malhotra, Mohali
In this new-normal Covid world, high-risk groups — children below 10 and senior citizens above 65 — have been advised, yet again, to stay indoors. Already cooped up for over two months, this can take a major toll on their mental as well as physical health. Families having kids and elderly may be finding it difficult to deal with this situation. What do you suggest should be done to ease this situation without compromising on the health of these high-risk groups?
Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to email@example.com
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