According to National Domestic Workers Movement, more than 70 per cent of the total registered domestic workers in the State have suffered job losses.
K Shanthi (53) has remained without a job for more than seven months now and finding it difficult to support her family. Being old and diabetic, it is risky for Shanthi to go back to work, thus many domestic workers like her are demanding revision of minimum wages and pension to those aged above 50.
“We should at least be given minimum wage of Rs 80-100 per hour. The workers who are above 50 are finding it very difficult to find jobs as they are being seen as carriers of the infection. We are therefore requesting that a pension of at least Rs 3,000 per month be granted to us,” said Shanthi. Domestic workers are hoping for alternative employment schemes to enable them earn a basic amount for livelihood. However, the registration platforms for such workers are difficult to access due to digitalisation of the process. “Domestic workers are not literate enough to do registration on their own. The process also requires Aadhaar-based verification using an OTP on the mobile number. However, many have random mobile numbers and are unable to generate OTP, making the registration impossible,” said National Domestic Workers Movement and association State co-ordinator Valarmathi.
Officials with the Commissionerate of Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non-Resident Tamils say that the digitalisation of the registration was done to facilitate registration of the workers and other alternatives will be considered.