As a result of 3 "suicides" of Domestic Workers in Krishna District last week we organized a small protest by Domestic Workers in Tiruvuru on 17th February 2006. Domestic Worker suicides are always suspicious as many employees think they can treat them as they wish. They have no rights and almost noone is there to protect them.
One of the dead Domestic Workers was a 9 year old girl. The house owner told to the newspaper, that he with his family left the house for 5 days. The girl should take care of the house. But after the five days when the family came back the house was dirty and unclean. He blamed the small girl and grew angry. As a result of his anger the girl finally commited suicide.
One Domestic Worker was from Tiruvuru itself. IDEAS Director Shouri went himself to the family to talk with them about the issue of the suicide. As they think the family where the woman worked is a good family they don't want to file a case against them. They say this family supported them in the past when they needed money and they too offered to give money now.
When you file a case against the employee family in such a situation the family will surely offer some money to the victims family to cancel the case. As Domestic Worker families happen to be poor people they all will take the money and drop the case. For them money is more important than justice (richmen won't go to jail anyway as they can also offer money to the police and the judge. Some even escape abroad.).
To protest against the suicides and the situation of Domestic Workers we conducted a peaceful meeting with them in front of the office of the Mandal Revenue Officer. About 30 Domestic Workers showed up and they got some support by other women who wanted to encourage them. One representative of the local communistic party came to speak about the rights of Domestic Workers. He also encouraged them to spread the message of the National Domestic Workers Movement.
IDEAS Director Shouri and some Domestic Workers theirselves also shared their impressions about the incidents. Afterwards the women met with the Mandal Revenue Officer to give him a memorandum with our demands.
We also invited Telugu-Newspapers to cover the protest. The protest got covered in four Newspapers, namely: Andhra Jothi, Andhra Prabha, Vartha and Inadu. The intelligence department also visited the protest.
Afterwards we invited all women to IDEAS. There we gave some prices, because we conducted a few weeks ago games for them. The women were all surprised as we called for a normal meeting but instead hearing speeches and discussion they had to compete in various simple games. All in all most of them had a lot of fun in the competitions.