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The Servants' Children

I remember reading once somewhere that if you live in India you either have a servant or you are a servant.  I'm not sure if that's true, but we have a cleaning woman who comes in to help us with our housework every morning.  She usually sweeps the house, washes the floor and washes the dishes.  Over the years, we have had many different women working in our house.

Poor people have to do this job.  No one else will.  It is not well paid and generally they don't get holidays either.  They just come every day and take days off because of necessity.  For these poor women, the problem of childcare is ever present.  Many of them have an elderly relative living with them who takes care of the children when they are out.  Otherwise the kids are left to play in the park.

One of our many past cleaning ladies, Chunni, had a terrible mishap a few years ago when she was working for us.  She left her (then) four year old son, Kalu, playing in the park with some children when she came to work in our house.  When she came back to collect him, he had disappeared.  A day of anxiety ensued (I remember storming Heaven, using every devotion from the Divine Mercy to the Sacred Heart and a few Rosaries) before the little boy returned to his family.  Such is the problem of working mothers.

For this reason I never mind if our cleaning ladies bring their little ones to work with them.  If they do, I usually give them a couple of biscuits and tell them to play in the garden.  Lots of people get angry when their servants bring the children to work.  I can't understand how they could be so unfeeling.

Working mothers deserve some support.

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  1. Wish more people think your way!
    By the way I personally dont really encourage housewife's taking up servants help.

    This is one thing which we Indians can lookup and ape the western world(except UK) and imitate. Irrespective of the financial status, they all do their own jobs. This is something which we can admire and learn from the west. what is the big deal in doing ones own household work.

    Here the role of men in underprivileged families is one cause why those women engage in these menial works for a living.It is sad but true. It would be better to teach a poor women how to sew than asking her to clean the house. At least she will stand on her own legs and thereby her kids would try to become an automobile mechanic instead of a male cleaner.

    This system creeped into Indian society during the British Raj and is a leftover of the colonial rule which continues till today.Earlier it was the British who ruled the underclass and later the lazy Indian Land lords took over and now anyone who can afford a servant. Unfortunatley no change for this class for centuries. The status of these women will continue unless they are saved from this filthy pit of 'menial jobs'. The only way out is, not to show mercy for those poor women but to train them hard in various other professions and thats the only way to eradicate this underprevilaged class.

    Lets believe in teaching a man/woman how to fish instead of giving a fish... :)


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