Historic day for domestic workers in Nagaland

Historic day for domestic workers in Nagaland

(Left) Domestic workers hold up a banner demanding “justice, respect and recognition,” at the launch of Domestic Workers Movement, Nagaland region, on January 17. (Right) Project Director, Yanger Aier puts his hand imprint on the banner signifying the government’s support with the movement   (Morung Photo)
Dimapur :  Ushering a ray of hope for thousands of domestic workers across Nagaland, the ‘Domestic Workers Movement,’ Nagaland region, was officially launched today by Department of Labor, Government of Nagaland. In the presence of hundreds of domestic workers gathered at Assisi Hall to commemorate the International Domestic Workers Day, Project Director, Yanger Aier put his hand imprint on the banner signifying the government’s support with the movement. The movement was launched with the efforts of the North East Domestic Workers Movement which came into existence in 2003.The Nagaland region movement was initiated in response when a girl working in Dimapur as domestic servant was attempted rape and molested in 2006 by her employer.

Speaking on the historic day for domestic worker, Yanger said his presence at the occasion was meant to step into the shoes of domestic workers and understanding their problems.

“We are here to know and understand your problems,” he said. Yanger, who expressed compassion for the plight of domestic workers, said that there are no proper laws or minimum fixed wages for them and it is therefore essential to work united and fight for their rights. Maintaining that the support rendered to the movement is not for the domestic workers to demand anything irrational, the Project Officer reminded the domestic workers to work upright to claim their rights. “Only if you work well, you will get what you deserve,” he pointed out.

Shedding light on the plight of domestic workers who work exceeding the minimum hours of work, Yanger said it is necessary to them to raise their voice on such issues. “Most of you work overtime and do not get paid,” he pointed out, and encouraged them to seek redressal on such matters. Terming them as a powerful force that “many people have become dependent on,” he urged them to voice their concerns in one voice to assert their rights.

Sister Theresa Joseph, Coordinator of North East Domestic Workers Movement and highly responsible for the launch of the movement in Nagaland also said she was pleased to see that the plights of domestic workers now being recognized by the society. She hoped the new movement and the people responsible for its creation would continue to work for the cause of domestic workers in Nagaland. Sister Therese, coordinator of Nagaland region appealed to the government to lend support in its endeavor; for domestic workers rights, recognition and empowerment. She also requested the government to look into all areas of possible help and to work hand in hand with the concerned agency.