On 22nd March 2020, India went on a nation-wide lockdown for a day to fight against coronavirus and the entire country was brought to a standstill. Little did the people know that it was not going to be a one-day episode. With infected cases rising each day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was left with no choice but to declare a 21-day lockdown across the nation to break the transmission chain of the virus, and to prevent India from entering Stage 3 of the infectious disease.
Businesses were asked to shut down, factories were closed, and companies were requested to opt for remote working. The heads of the states were directed to take strict action and penalize those who were not following the quarantine protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, to adhere to the policy of social distancing, the house helps, and maids were advised to stay at home too.
Which brings us to the question – Do we still have to pay them since they are not working? Yes. For the most fathomable reason that they are not as privileged as we are. Though it’s an avoidable expenditure, let’s not forget that it is this income that runs their house, feeds their children and pays the bills. Some of them barely get through the month with these meagre wages, so with no pay, one can only imagine their state of mind right now. These are trying times for them, for us, and since we are privileged enough to donate, let’s start with them. After all, charity begins at home and what’s better than supporting your house helps first.
In India, most of these house helps/maids belong to the underprivileged sectors of the society, which are the worst hit by the COVID-19 lockdown today. Since the wave of inflation has already hit the city, they are left with no option but to wait for the government relief packages to roll out. They may not voice it, but they need your help more than any day today. So, now would be the time to put humanity above everything and to give back to society by uniting in this fight against coronavirus.
Besides giving them the monthly income, help them with a few more hundreds or thousands if possible. If a monetary donation is not feasible for you, there are several other ways you can make their lives easier, considering you are more digital-savvy and connected than they are. Reach out to the local social do-gooders around you who are challenging all odds and helping the underprivileged to put up a fight against coronavirus. Speak to your house maids, understand their needs and connect them to the NGOs or social groups that can help them amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
Other than your house helps and maids, also reach out to the other ‘unofficial’ essential workers in your society who continue to work relentlessly despite the lockdown—the watchmen, the milkman, the sweepers, etc. Join the government, corporates, private sectors, and social do-gooders to fight against coronavirus, while staying indoors and maintaining the social distance. These are desperate times for many, so let’s do our bit, spread compassion and be there for those who are struggling to meet ends due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.