A one-time financial assistance scheme for domestic workers has been found to unfairly discriminate against those aged over 60. The state government launched scheme Sanman Dhan disburses Rs 10,000 to each housemaid who has completed 55 years on August 1, 2013, but bizarrely, doesn’t consider maids aged 60 and over.
The reason, according to the state labour minister, is that the government may have not expected them to still be working. “The government might have thought that domestic workers above 60 years wont be working. However, we have now proposed to the government to make the Sanman Dhan available to also those aged over 65 years,” said State Labour Minister Hassan Mushrif. Till now, the board has disbursed the amount to 500 maids in other regions of the state, and will pay out the amount to maids working in the city through the Electronic Clearing System (ECS).
Out of 2,23,000 domestic workers in the state, this year only 70 domestic workers aged over 55 from Mumbai would be provided this fund. To avail of this facility, domestic workers have to register themselves with the Domestic Workers Welfare Board, which was formed in November 2011. The board appointed a private company to collate details of all domestic workers registered. But the company failed to submit it and details of nearly 3,000
domestic workers are yet to be recovered from the firm, said a board official. Eknath Mane, district President of Gharkamgar Molkarni Sanghatana, AITUC (All India Trade Union Congress), said, “The private company appointed by the government has misplaced the data. The labour commissioner’s office has not yet recovered that data.
Moreover, there are many domestic workers aged between 60 and 80 years who are still working, and they will not get any benefits, which is sad. Our domestic workers expected to receive the funds for Diwali." Tanuja Raul (32), a member of Gharkamgar Molkarni Sanghatana, said, “There are many domestic workers who are above 70 and 85 years whose name should have been included in this scheme. Our domestic workers are eagerly waiting to be facilitated.”
Madhukar Gaikwad, member-secretary of Domestic Workers Welfare Board and the labour commissioner, said, “We are in touch with the private firm to recover the details of the 3,000 domestic workers. We will be soon disbursing the Sanman Dhan to the city’s domestic workers.”
Maids eligible for the scheme
Island city: 25
Eastern suburbs: 20
Western suburbs: 25
Registered domestic workers
Number of domestic workers registered in island city in 2011-13
Domestic workers registered in eastern suburbs in 2011-13
Domestic workers registered in western suburbs in 2011-13