National Domestic Workers' Welfare Trust

As a Movement we commit ourselves to work for: 1. Dignity of domestic work and all domestic workers 2. Justice for all domestic workers and workers rights 3. Empowerment of domestic workers 4. Recognising child domestic work as child labour to be abolished and giving children the right to mainstream education 5. Crisis intervention with rehabilitation, legal and medical aid 6. Networking on local, national and international level
Jan 13, 2015

Upgrading skills - an antidote to trafficking

Street Play on Trafficking
Street Play on Trafficking

Upgrading skills – an antidote to trafficking

Shangmila (name changed) is a 38 year old divorcee from Tamei Village of Tamenglong District, Manipur. Her two children live with her husband.  As her parents passed away , she lived alone in a rented house. She struggled with life without any future as she had studied only upto primary level with no vocational skill. She supported herself by supplying vegetables to vendors.

The Manipur Domestic Workers’ Movement Organization (MDWMO) staff had known Shangmila from field visits the village. During one field visit, Shangmila shared with them that a man had offered her a job in a company and she would be leaving the village soon for the job. She was in distress and confused about the work in ther new place. She showed the address and contacts of her work place. The staff contacted the company and it was later found that it was a brothel.

The truth was a shocking to Shangmila. After understanding the problem, our staff counselled her for various vocational options. She was interested in learning weaving but had no money to undertake the training. With some financial assistance, our staff referred Shangmila to a weaving centre at Kabrabam Leikai Handloom Cluster, Imphal West for a six months weaving course.

Shangmila was thus saved through timely intervention from being trafficked due to her ignorance and vulnerability to such unscrupulous agents. Today Shangmila is able to earn her livelihood through her newly acquired skill in weaving.

Prevention is the best Policy

As shown in the above story, constant vigilance is the only way forward to nip trafficking cases in the bud. Besides visiting villages where children and women are at risk, our staff conduct continuous awareness sessions in such locations, pointing out the evils of trafficking.

Jharkhand is one among the states chosen by the ILO to work on the issue of safe migration and human trafficking under the Work in Freedom project. Hundreds of villagers in the districts of Ranchi and Khunti are being made aware of the problems through novel methods like street plays and audio-visual programs. People are responding very positively as they become aware of the issues. 

We encourage you to participate in the eternal watch to stop human trafficking and continue to generously support our efforts in rescuing and educating vulnerable sections of our population from this pernicious evil.

Sep 19, 2014

Vulnerability - our living condition

“I am Mekla, 15years old poor girl from Senapathi village in one of the North eastern state of India, Manipur. My father was a drunkard. When we three children were very small, he passed away, leaving the 3 little kids to our mother. My mother is a street vegetable vender. With the little income of my mother, we four at home could not have two full meals a day. At this family condition, I did not have any choice, other than go out to work in some houses as domestic worker.

One day while returning back from work, one of the men from our village told that he will get me a good job in the nearby state in Nagaland in a house and earn well to support the family without the knowledge of my mother.

I shared my plan to run away from home and take up a job in a house in Nagaland”.

The news about plans were informed to Manipur Domestic Workers Movement, by one of Mekla’s close friend who used to attend our various trainings on trafficking, child abuse. Our field staff found out details about the house, where the child was to go in Nagaland. It is a brothel house.

Our counsellor then visited the child’s house and discussed their family condition and the need of Mekla to earn for the family with her mother. She then asked our staff to counsel Mekla. Accordingly few suggestions were given to Mekla, to go to work in a house, which will lead to trafficking or to join some computer course or any other vocational course.

Our staff again met Melka and talked to her about the issues. She was also further told if she is smart or expert in a particular field she can join in any company or open a shop and be self employed.

As Mekla is found of learning computer, our Manipur office arranged for admission and supports her studies.

Now what Mekla says is: “If not for the intervention of NDWM’s Manipur office, I would have been a victim of trafficking. Now I am saved from trafficking and slavery. Now I can have a decent living. All this is made possible through your Support to the unknown faces like me”.

May 20, 2014

"I am not the only one . . ."

“ I am not the only one . . .”

(A Real time story) :

“I am Bishnu Dapa, 12 years old and am studying in class VI in a higher secondary school in Assam, the North eastern state of India. Till last year our family of 5 members (parents and 3 siblings) were living in the midst of poverty, struggle and day to day living. My sickly mother was the only earning member. With an alcoholic father, who takes away the money from my sickly mother who was a domestic worker with determination to educate all three of us? All of a sudden in the month of October she suddenly fell ill and could not get up to go to work. Being the eldest child the burden of earning for the family fell on me. I used to get up early and go to work in the nearby houses where my mother was working and then go to school. Coming back from school, do the work at home and the houses. This was my routine life till my mother died of her ailment in November 2013.

Now I have to do all the work at home for my father, younger sister (8 Years) and brother (6 years).

Coming back from school till mid night will be working in the neighbour’s house to earn our living.

Now comes a turning point in my life. The mental and physical torture by my father was unbearable. Using the force my own father started to abuse me. For the sake of my education, and my younger ones I was living with the traumatic life. I started losing concentration on my studies.

My father started bringing home his friends to have drinks and they attempted to rape me. I ran for life to escape from home, my father chased me and broke my hand with a wooden log. My neighbours in the village came for my protection and treatment. But I could not share my mental torture and trauma.  After two weeks at the school, the principal noticed the bandage in the hand, calling me to her office, started asking various questions and made me open up. Busted in tears, I told her my entire story. She then counselled me and referred my case to NDWM’s Assam office. The coordinator of the organisation took me with her and kept me for two weeks with them in their home. With the constant counselling and their mental, moral support I gained confidence and started going to school.”

 

Our staff then met the child’s father and made him realise the damage he has done to his own daughter and how he went up to traffic his own child for the sake of drinks. After various one to one sessions he confessed and accepted his crime in front of the principal. Our staff then arranged for a group session with the victim child, her father, principal and the local village head and the family is united. Our coordinator monitors the developments in the family weekly and financially supports the children’s education.

 

“I am Bishnu speaking, though the wound and scars are deep, being a young teenage girl, the coordinator or their staff spend some time with me every alternative day, their love and concern which gives me courage and also the changes in my father who goes to work and earns for the family makes me live a meaning full life. In future I want to be a social worker to bring social changes.

In our area, I am not an only victim, there are many more like me. Fortunately I was referred to National Domestic Workers Welfare Trust. This change is possible only on account of your single dollar you all donate for the cause.  Your contributions have saved my life far away in the Indian subcontinent.

In tears I ask of you is not to sympathise and help for the cause, but empathise and walk hand holding with such organisation.”

 

N.B. Name changed to maintain confidentiality.

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