Letters to the Editor — January 23, 2021

Housework valuation

In India, even in today’s world, there is a demarcation between the ‘work done by women’ and ‘work done by men’ This attitude of men and society in general is what makes it difficult to undertake a valuation of housework, moreso when there are women who feel that what they do is not worthy of remuneration. In this context, to bring in a prenupital contract on this issue would be difficult.

In a fair valuation, perhaps women need to take pride in the housework they are doing. In addition, housework should not be considered as ‘work done only by women’.

Maya Hemant Bhatkar,


While recognition of women’s work is welcome, payment for the same would only further stereotype domestic work as solely the women’s responsibility. Domestic work in the household needs to be treated as a shared responsibility. There needs to be a long-term solution such as promoting the involvement of men, the use of technology and devices to reduce the burden of household chores, teaching all children early to learn life and household skills. Payment could only cage women within the four walls and limit their aspirations.

Neha Yadav,

New Delhi

There have been several articles now on “wages for housework”. But let us not forget that in India, there are countless women off the radar in this connection. There are agricultural tasks performed by women that are a part of their household work, and taken for granted. Economists such as Bina Agarwal have recognised this to be a woman’s hidden work, not reflected in the NSSO statistics on work.

Another issue is “double work”. Working women also do household work. Some of them have the capacity to hire domestic help, others do not. Will the political parties concerned now give them double wages? The best solution would be to promote a culture of sharing at home to do the mundane tasks necessary for the maintenance of home and family — something that the Cuban Family Code has tried to enforce.

Anuradha Agarwal,

Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Some of our politicians have only revived an age-old topic. The issue is more about removing the gender bias from the normal chores of life. No amount of glorification is required to highlight what a vast number of women do in contributing to family life and which escapes statistics when it comes to valuing their output.

Yes, they need security, and yes, they deserve respect. Monetising their efforts alone would add another arrow to the quiver of patriarchy.

Priyadersini S.,


Dr. V. Shanta

While there are many who still think that cancer is deadly, Dr. V. Shanta was the one who dispelled that misconception: first, by instilling confidence in the minds of the patients, and second, with treatment next. As a cancer patient, almost terminally-ill, I found a new life, after being advised to consult her. She once said, “Being humane is more appreciable than just being a human being.”

K. Suria Moorthy,

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

The result of an endoscopy test on a very close family member after her complaint of trouble swallowing shocked us — it was cancer. The doctor added that it was in an advanced stage. Driven by the need for a second opinion, we found ourselves at the Adyar Cancer Institute. After scrutinising the reports, Dr. Shanta calmly said, “There is some problem, Nothing to worry. We will do our best. Get her admitted.” These soothing words were of great help.

D. Sethuraman,



The India win

Much has been and will continue to be written about how India went on to script one of the most sensational comebacks in international Test cricket history. This historic win will long be remembered for the determined show put up by a band of cricketing rookies who made the impossible come true through sheer grit and mental toughness that only seemed to improve with every outing. In any sporting spectacle, people have generally rooted for the underdogs and in this contest too, between two apparently unequal foes, it was David who overcame Goliath. The valiant efforts should boost the mood of the nation.

Pachu Menon,

Comba, Margao, Goa

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:36:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-january-23-2021/article33638359.ece

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