Domestic workers

PIL Seeking Welfare Council for Retired Home Nurses and Domestic Workers from Delhi HC

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting the Union of India to consider forming a Welfare Board for home nurses and domestic workers to avoid alleged exploitation by recruitment agencies etc. , was removed from the Delhi High Court on Friday. On Friday, Bench Satish Chandra Sharma and Judge Subramonium Prasad heard submissions from Attorney Robin Raju who appeared for the petitioner. The petitioner later decided to withdraw his plea after the court refused to send notice to the respondents.

The petition submitted by an NGO Distress Management Collective also called on the Delhi government to set up a committee to look into the situation of home-based nurses and domestic workers in Delhi. The petitioner NGO, through lawyers Robin Raju, Deepa Joseph and Blessan Mathews, stated through the petition that there are many grievances from home care nurses and domestic workers who have had to deal with the operation of the employment agency and the employer.

The plea further stated that the pandemic period was extremely difficult for this vulnerable section. “Home nurses and domestic workers have had to put their lives at risk and ignore the welfare of their own families to attend to the needs of their employers around the clock. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Many seniors’ lives have been saved from the deadly coronavirus thanks to the care and protection provided by this little-known group of home nurses and domestic workers,” he said. According to the petitioner, the Kerala Law Reform Commission, headed by Ret. Judge KT Thomas suggested the establishment of a welfare board specifically for home nurses and domestic workers. The petitioner has stated that there is a strong need for an all-India welfare council. “There must be a wing of the Welfare Board in each state. The Welfare Board must have the mandate to even conduct a survey to separate the agencies with a license from the total number of recruitment agencies that supply home nurses and domestics in the Council must also include people who can provide legal assistance to those who are aggrieved,” the petitioner said.

“There is a dire need for investigation to determine whether or not agencies providing employment opportunities for home care nurses and domestic workers have the required registration/license,” the plea adds. “It is high time that such an investigation be carried out as in the recent past it has seen a sudden proliferation of many recruitment agencies. It is the humble opinion of the petitioner that, to begin with, Delhi should be the first to take place where such an exercise is conducted as a joint effort of the two Respondents, according to the plea.

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