BANGALORE: Mangala, a 23-year-old maid, starts her day at 5 am. After working for around 45 minutes at each house, her ‘day shift’ comes to an end at 2 pm. Post that she goes back home and cooks for her children, and starts her evening rounds. “It is a tough life, but I have to earn to get our daily bread. We also deserve decent treatment, as we work and not do anything demeaning,” she says.
A ragpicker with BBMP says, “People from today’s age say that no job is menial but still look down upon us.”
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, for these women from underprivileged class of the society, making their voices heard was the priority at the two-day conference.
They toil hard to earn two square meals a day. Over 50 workers gathered at ISI to discuss their problems. They yearned to be treated like employees of other sectors.
“They have demanded to be eligible for pension, ESI, medical aid, housing facilities amongst others. Sometimes when Housing Board provides them accommodation, they do not even get the place as it would have been taken over,” said Shanti, Women’s Wing coordinator, ISI. “We will list our demands and present them to the Labour Commissioner at the end of the seminar. There will also be a public meeting,” Shanti said.