Overview of the North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers’ Movement (NERDWM)

The North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers Movement (NERDWM) Meghalaya Region, will observe the Domestic Workers Week programme from 10th June 2016 – 16th June 2016 with the following objective:

  • To highlights the working conditions of domestic workers.
  • To educate the domestic workers on various rights and protection.
  • To educate them on the need to bargain for their recognition as workers and appeal for their entitlements on “Social Protection, and other benefits”.

Domestic workers are a section of the urban poor population who are mostly neglected and least protected workforce in our state and country as a whole. They are often illiterate or semi literate, they are mostly women or girls with no legal protection.

We hope that the whole week programme will present sufficient information on how the domestic workers have been going through millions of struggles in their day to day life fighting for their survival and livelihood, and behind their struggles, contribute to the economy of the state and country as a whole.

The North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers Movement assures to the best of our capacity that we do our best in achieving the objectives to empower the domestic workers and stand together with them in their fight for Identity, Dignity and Justice.

Overview of the North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers’ Movement (NERDWM)

The North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers’ Movement (NERDWM) initially known as Domestic Workers’ Association was initiated in June 1, 2003 by the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), Shillong Province in Meghalaya in response to scores of violence and injustice perpetuated on domestic workers. After two years of initiation, the organization worked for its legal recognition from the state government of Meghalaya only to receive it in October 15, 2005 under the banner of North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers’ Welfare Trust (NERDWT). Gradually the organization expanded its activities in other parts of North Eastern States including Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura.

The objective of the Movement is empowerment of domestic workers, lobbying with governments both at the state and central level, to regularize domestic work, whereby the workers are treated with dignity, paid just wages and enjoy all welfare measures applicable to all organized workers, to educate domestic working women and children create consciousness towards self reliance and social justice and to promote integral development through vocational training, literacy and leadership.

Following are some of the activities in the state of Meghalaya:

  • Mobilizing domestic workers, through the process of registration, group formation and experience sharing. Till date more than 5000 domestic workers are registered under the Movement (Shillong City data). Accordingly they have been formed into groups for better Coordination and facilitation. Today, more than 300 groups have been formed. Group meetings are conducted on a monthly basis at their respective localities.
  • Advocacy Programme which includes the following:
    • Lobbying with State government to achieve various goals; most importantly recognition of domestic workers as labourers and including them in the Labour Code, thereby helping them to have the same rights as other employees.
    • Programme for employers to sensitize about the need on the call for contracts, just wages, working hours, weekly holidays, annual paid leave etc.
    • Campaign for recognition and status through one to one discussion with employers, gatherings, pamphlets and flyers, postcards campaigns, signature campaigns for inclusion of domestic workers under the schedule of minimum wage, for ensuring that India supports the adoption of “Convention on Decent work for domestic Workers”, by the ILO at ILC 2011, to ensure that Domestic Workers are included in the protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at workplace bill, 2010.
    • Rescue, Rehabilitation and Education of children in domestic work or child domestic workers.
    • Formation of Self Help Groups
    • Saving and Credit linkage
    • Anti-trafficking and migration through creation of data base, awareness programme to sensitize domestic workers on the sensitive issue of trafficking.
    • Networking with other NGOs & CBOs which have helped the organization to improve in contacts and mobilize domestic workers, disseminate information, organize training and rehabilitation of abused victims.
    • Extension of Ferrando Transit Shelter Home, for the care and protection of traumatized children and women.
  • Vision:
    • We envision a society for domestic workers where they are treated with dignity and justice, their rights are upheld, and they are recognized for the contribution they make towards the economy and development, their voices are heard and they decide on what affects their lives.
  • Mission:
    • Dignity of domestic work and all domestic workers
    • Justice for all domestic workers and workers’ rights
    • Empowerment of domestic workers. Participation of domestic workers in their struggles for justice
    • Recognizing child domestic work as child labour to be abolished and to give children the right to mainstream education
    • Crisis intervention with legal and medical aid for inclusion and reintegration
    • Networking at local, national and international level.

Photo Gallery:

Post card Campaign 2014

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Domestic workers participating in the rally demanding for their rights

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Domestic workers participating during Signature Campaign

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Scheduled programmes for the Domestic Workers Week 2016

City: Shillong

Theme: Regulate Domestic Work Recognize Domestic Workers as Workers

 

Sl No

Date& Day

Venue &Timing

Activities

1.

10/6/16,

Friday

Don Bosco Youth Centre

3.30 pm

 Observation of Anti Child Labour Day

Topic:  Safeguard and Protection of Children from all kinds of abuse

Chief Guest: Dr. M. Ampareen Lyngdoh, Labour Minister.

 

2.

11& 12/6/16,

Saturday/Sunday

 

Shillong City

10am onwards

Field visit & Group meetings with domestic Workers at different localities of Shillong for Post Card campaign programme

3.

13/6/16,

Monday

GPO Shillong

10am

Leaders visit to General Post Office (GPO) for posting of post cards

Chief Guest: Smti. F. Khongbhih, Senior Post Master General

4.

13/6/16,

Monday

Police Bazar

1pm

Demonstrations through street play in collaboration with Social Work Student, BDPS Institute, Shillong.
5.

14/6/16

Tuesday

Don Bosco Youth Centre, Laitumkhrah Shillong

2pm

Round table conference with stakeholders

Topic: “Labour Rights”

Moderator: Rev. K. Pyrtuh.

6.

15/6/16

Wednesday

Domestic Workers Movement Office, Malki Dhanketi, Shillong.

Preparation for the International Domestic Workers Day

7. 16/6/16

Thursday

 Sri. Aurobindo Institute, Bivar Road Shillong

Celebration of International Domestic Workers’ Day.

Theme: Regulate Domestic Work & Recognize Domestic Workers as Workers

Chief Guest: Honorable Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma.

 

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