If there is one person who can be called truly indispensable, it is undoubtedly the household maid.They are the constant at the workspace .Trusted enough with open homes, locks and keys, they work to give you that squeaky clean home every day.Yes, the quintessential maid is all this and more. Yet, we know little of their lives, more so when they are employed at homes, where communication is rarely beyond instructions to double lock at the end of the day!
Shantha (Name changed for privacy)came to our office with a job requirement. She was responding to our Ad requiring maids. Life Maid Easy Services Incorporated being the premium maid service provider in Kakkanad, Ernakulam,Cochin,Edapally , Aluva and all across Ernakulum District, we follow a strict verification and background check process. We asked Shantha for her details.That was when she told her story.
"I got married after passing 12th standard. We had an affair for three years and then we decided to get married. My parents didn’t approve of our relationship, so we had to leave the house. In the very first year of our marriage, I got pregnant. And, during this period, my husband was having an extramarital affair. That lady used to come to our house often and he introduced her to me as his sister-in-law.He forced me to leave my job so that she can take that job. I discovered later that he was cheating on me. He left me and stayed with her for three years. My daughter was just one and I had no source of income. I couldn’t return to my parent’s place, as I had a love marriage and I was cast out. I started my journey as a maid then with my baby in my arms, I washed utensils and swept.
Once I was working in a cabin of an office in a building. That man made advances and asked me for sexual favours. When I declined, he sacked me. Even today, I see him very often, as I still work in the same building and each time he looks at me, my wounds are fresh again." She paused.
The society is very cruel to a woman who has no male support. Whatever people may say about how women are now treated equally, I have only faced difficulties because my husband left me. As a maid relation consultant at Life Maid Easy Services Incorporated , it was quite similar to the stories I hear, on daily basis, the heat of those tear droplets burned me,again.
It is in the language we speak, our education, our work, and our gated communities. It is the way most of us treat our domestic workers: Denying them an employment of dignity, rights, fair wages, social assimilation, even the fanciful designation of ‘work.’ Our societies routinely treat named and unnamed countless domestic workers like Shatha as subhuman, regardless of where they come from. The rise of sequestered slum colonies in tandem with plush residential complexes accentuates this divide, creating isles of ill-begotten prosperity in a sea of destitution.
Its been a month now, Shantha had been working with us. She is happy and glad that she is well paid. She is very much sure that ,she is secure and her dignity too, is well protected while she is working under the banner of Life Maid Easy and infact that is true.