Nun urges new domestic worker law

January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Catholic, Church, India, Madhya Pradesh, newsletter-india

Nun urges new domestic worker lawMadhya Pradesh, January 10, 2012: A Catholic nun is urging the federal government to enact a new law which would protect domestic workers and guarantee them basic employment rights.

“Domestic workers are the most vulnerable to sexual harassment and there is no legal protection,” said Sister Rosily Panjikaren at a rally yesterday in Indore, in Madhya Pradesh.

More than 600 people had joined the rally to mark India’s International Domestic Workers Day.

Sr. Panjikaren, a member of the Servants of the Holy Spirit congregation and director of the Indore Domestic Workers’ Solidarity, also urged the government to set a minimum daily wage for these workers.

Church groups and other affiliates of the National Domestic Workers’ Movement organized similar events in other parts of the country.

Sr. Panjikaren said it is wrong for people to look upon domestic workers as mere servants and deny them legal rights and health schemes.

Women domestic workers are mostly illiterate and poor and cannot negotiate better wages and for other basic employment rights, the nun explained.

She called for the establishment of an independent registered union to speak out against the “injustices meted out to domestic workers on a regular basis.”

Indore’s assistant labor commissioner, R G Pandey, agreed to assist the nun in her efforts.

Nirmala Deore, a domestic worker, said she and many others work long hours for little pay and get no holidays.

“We want people to stop calling us servants and respect us as employees,” she said.

– ucan

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