Meera Ramesh has truly captured the views of the millions of citizens about the vulgar disparity between the lifestyles of the haves and the havenots in India (Open Page, May 2). One hopes this vivid write-up will serve as a document of value that will make people adopt the simple philosophy of caring and have concern for their fellow beings.
It is all right singing paeans for housemaids, but why portray only one side of the picture? Today's domestic helps are quite different from those of yesteryear. Before accepting the job, they ensure that a television with cable connection and a fully automatic washing machine are installed in the place of work. One day-off in a week is the unwritten norm. Work on festival days deserves extra pay. Pay-cuts for sick leave are unacceptable. Any short-comings in the quality of work have to be tolerated by the employer as the demand-supply situation weighs strongly in favour of the housemaids.
Varsha S. Shenoy,
Somehow, it is in this housemaid clan that one finds husbands who end up at liquor shops not just in the evenings but throughout the day. Should the government not be ashamed of earning money out of these suckers for booze? Why not call these women “stronger sex” if not “superior sex” as they manage their own households besides the place they work for?
Our everyday routine is planned around the maid's timings. It is disrupted when they fail to turn up and we vent our frustration on them when they turn up later. What is it but an indication of our slavish dependence on them! All these can be avoided if the household work is shared equally by all and if there are efficient machines.
This article reminds me of the maids of bygone days, when they were loyal not only to the employer but to the entire household. I remember my own maid, who treated me like her daughter whenever I visited my parental home. She helped my mom in bringing us up. We never considered her as a domestic help but she was a part of our family. Nowadays, such maids are a dying breed.
Treat them as human beings and remember that they are not paid enough for what they do and contribute to the education of their children, you will then find friend for life.