The (mis)treatment of sahayaks in the Army reflects our basic Indian overdependence on domestic help. Call it a colonial hangover or the luxury of living in an overpopulated, underfed country. We depend on domestic help to such an extent that we forget that certain personal tasks like making beds and clearing our own table is best done by ourselves. And our children who do not so much as lift a finger here are ready to wait on tables, deliver newspapers and do any odd jobs when they move to the West. If we can cultivate the same attitude in our home country, we need not depend on sahayaks and can free them to do more productive jobs in the service of the nation.

Sharada Sivaram,

Chennai

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