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Domestic help

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Q. Write an argumentative essay conveying your point of view on domestic help: another form of bonded labour. (700-900 words) Ans. 'Domestic help is an employee paid to perform menial tasks around the household.' In India, we are extremely familiar with the concept of domestic help. Which of us, in our households, can manage without a Ramu, a Chotu or a Shankar? In this country, we have few developed cities and millions of villages with a large, poor population. These people migrate to the cities looking for work. They earn low wages in their villages and come to the metropolitan cities in search of better salaries and higher standards of living. In most cases, the domestic employee is unskilled; the employer has greater skill and ability. An individual coming from a village may have never experienced something as basic as a doorbell; and may be unaware that one must answer the door when the doorbell rings. ...read more.


The labourer could be unhappy, but is stuck as he/she has to repay the debt. Bonded labourers have no legal recourse in most countries; this problem is further compounded in countries like South America and Asia where there are large numbers of illegal immigrants. In extreme cases, the debt is so large that it extends to the next generation - children of the labourer cannot free themselves either. I think domestic help, in a broad perspective, is not a form of bonded labour. While both kinds of labour belong to the unorganised sector, certain western countries do provide a level of protection to domestic help. In the United States of America, employers are required to pay domestic help a minimum wage. Further, due to shortage of employees willing to work as domestic help, employers in the West provide good amenities like excellent accommodation and fixed working hours. ...read more.


* An employee dissatisfied with the wage he receives can negotiate for a better salary or amenities. * Self respect and dignity are core traits a human being values most - the terms of employment allow the domestic employee to maintain a level of self esteem. None of these options are available to a bonded labourer, which is why I believe domestic help cannot be construed to be a form of bonded labour. I believe domestic help - which most people in India need and use - is not a form of bonded labour. Bonded labour is when the employer has total control over the employee and can treat him/her any way they feel like. In most cases, the entire family is bound to the employer. With reference to domestic help, the worker has shifted from his village to the city and looks to get a good salary. He/she uses this money either to pay off some debt, or to finance his/her family. (753 words) Prepared By: Tanay Gabhawala ...read more.

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