Many employers have asked them to stay away till pandemic subsides
With the fear of COVID-19 spreading quicker than the infection itself, many employers have asked their housemaids or domestic workers to stay away till the pandemic subsides. Many such workers have lost their jobs since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“I do not have much savings. The wages from the houses where I worked was our only means of income. Now I cannot go anywhere and hence do not have any earnings,” said Prema, a housemaid in Kunduparamba, who used to work in five houses before the first lockdown was imposed.
Ramla, another domestic worker, has several loans to repay. When the going got tough, she contemplated suicide. That was when a social worker intervened to get her employed in a house. “But most housemaids are not as lucky. I know many who survive only because of free rations,” she said.
The lack of transportation facilities during the lockdown has also affected domestic workers who are unable to travel to the houses they work at. They also lose their earnings when they have to go into quarantine when some of their employers get infected.
“We get paid only when we have work. I have bills to pay. The local grocer does not ask for money when we get supplies from his shop. But I have to pay him back soon,” said Uma, a domestic help in Kozhikode.
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