Just a decade back, the role of a housemaid was taken for granted.You could easily find one and they would work for your household for years, many of whom would almost be a part of your extended family. Housemaids were extremely loyal to the household as , they not only provided salary at the end of every month, but also provided small loans whenever needed. In addition to cash they would get some amount in kind as well, like old uniforms,text books for kids,saris and what not. Some times the lady of the house would also lend an ear for the housemaids problems providing timely counselling for problems.
Then started the ubiquitous Garment factories on the peripheries of the city attracting a large number of unskilled and semiskilled women.Many of the housemaids drove in hordes to work for these factories, as these factories provided decent salary along with medical and maternity benefits. The working conditions and the real benefits these women received is a different argument altogether. Then started the ultimate shortage of housemaids in the city.
You cannot find any one to do your daily household chores.It became a hot topic of discussion for housewives and working women equally during social gatherings. " Our maid suddenly dissapeared from work last week.I am in hell right now" - says a housewife.
Another major factor for this shortage is the tag associated with " Being a Housemaid". We Indians tend to look down upon certain jobs. We still haven't got the dignity of labor into certain jobs. No one wants to be a housemaid or wants to take up housekeeping jobs in big corporate offices that daunt the city of Bangalore. Manpower agencies say that there are several open positions in the housekeeping sector with decent pay and benefits.But, no one wants to take up a house keeping job. Every one wants a 9-5 job sitting in an office, whether you have the necessary skills o not is a different question.
With growth of middle/upper middle class households , there is a great demand for housemaids.The situation is so worse that people are willing to pay unrealistic pays. But still there are none to find.There are several aspects of domestic work that one needs to analyse to understand this complex web of domestic work.
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