Online service bookmybai.com has a database of nearly 12,000 domestic helps who are ready for employment. Business is booming as the company claims to be successful in placing 500 domestic helps in Mumbai every month.
Domestic helps now earn nearly Rs 3000 per month more than what they made earlier, gets weekly offs and are back home in time to look after their children. "If any problem occurs like teasing and physical abuse, we can at least come here and tell them in the office. Otherwise people treat us like dogs and think that we can be exploited," Sunita Londe, a domestic help, told NDTV.
But what's created a controversy is an advertisement that the company put out, which is being seen as promoting religious discrimination, a reflection of the problems that the sector faces.
Anupam Sinhal, Managing Director of bookmybai.com says, "We do not support any form of discrimination. We as a company try to educate the clients regarding this. But sometimes there are few clients who are very stringent regarding religion. So instead of rejecting the client, we send a domestic help of a particular religion."
"In India discrimination based on religion exists. In these progressive times, companies that have employed domestic workers should not allow these practices. It will enhance discrimination based on religion and caste," Christin Mary, the national coordinator for the National Domestic Workers Movement told NDTV.
The central government is considering a policy to regulate it.
"The clause of religion is limited to the fact that if you have a kitchen that cooks non-vegetarian, you will probably prefer a domestic help that cooks the same or has the same belief. It has got nothing to do with suggesting any kind of religious regulation," said BJP Spokesperson Shaina NC.
The company operates in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune, but with an estimated four million domestic helps in India, it's a huge market that is still untapped.
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