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Mumbai: Princess meets domestic workers
March 17, 2005 21:00 IST
Princess of Belgium Mathilde on Thursday interacted with domestic workers at the Bombay Houseworkers' Solidarity in Mumbai.
"The Princess gathered information about their personal problems," said the coordinator of the organisation, Arokia Mary.
However, she added that there was "no commitment either financially or otherwise".
"We hope the Princess's visit would highlight the problems of domestic workers," said Mary. The existing acts for organised labour fail to include domestic help in its purview, she said, adding, often they are paid less than the minimum wages.
According to Mary, efforts to table a bill in 1990 and 1996 in Parliament and in 1998 state legislature had failed.
"Child domestic workers are not covered by the Child Labour Act of 1986 making them vulnerable to exploitation. A public interest litigation for a legislation recognising them as workers is pending before the Supreme Court," she said.
The United Nations has recognised domestic work as a contemporary form of slavery. It is time that India gives due recognition to them, Mary added.
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