COVID, lockdown affect livelihood of domestic workers in Kerala
The second wave of COVID-19 has thrown the life of Rukhiya, a domestic assist, from Puthu Vypeen right here, out of gear.
The 63-year-old girl, who has been rendered jobless because the COVID-induced lockdown, is surviving solely on the meals equipment being offered by the State authorities. Besides fending for herself, the aged girl must take care of her ailing husband.
“I used to earn ₹400 a day working as a domestic help at a house in Elamakkara, Kochi. I could not go for work since the lockdown and is living in abject poverty,” she stated. “The repayment of loans, including one from a micro-finance institution, is long overdue. There is pressure from the banks to repay the loans,” she stated.
Driven out of their workplaces and pestered by moneylenders, scores of domestic helps throughout the State are languishing in distress. Though the State authorities had permitted the domestic helps to go to work in the course of the lockdown interval after amassing e-passes, it has not helped these workers of the unorgainised sector.
“The lockdown has affected the lives of domestic helps and a large number of them are surviving on the food kits being supplied by the State government,” says Sonia George, State secretary of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
It is sort of tough for the ladies workers, who’re largely semi-literate or illiterate, to acquire the e-passes. Even in the event that they handle to acquire them, they’re unable to succeed in the homes the place they work in the absence of public transport system, she stated.
It is estimated that round 75% of the practically six lakh domestic helps have been rendered jobless because the lockdown. The workers staged an internet protest on Wednesday demanding steps to save lots of them from poverty.
“Almost all the workers in the sector, who have raised loans from banks, private moneylenders, micro-financing institutions and Kudumbasree units, are now in debt trap,” stated Ms. George.
“Though unable to reach for work, my employer helped me during the lean days. I used to repay the loans on a weekly basis. Each month I need around ₹7,000 for repayment of loan, which I am finding it difficult now,” stated Ms. Rukhia.
SEWA has demanded monetary assist for the workers moreover precedence vaccination in order that they’ll get again to work on the earliest. The monetary establishments shall write-off the curiosity element of the mortgage for the lockdown interval. The authorities shall resume rural and concrete employment assure schemes to assist the workers, the affiliation demanded.