NEW DEHLI, India – Bodhicrew Services aims to equip the poor in India’s unorganized sector with necessary professional skills and to connect them with domestic work in a fair and safe work environment.
The unorganized sector, as defined by the “Report On Conditions Of Work And Promotion of Livelihoods In The Unorganised Sector,” is constituted by private business ventures with fewer than ten employees that are “engaged in the sale of goods and services operated on a proprietary or partnership basis.”
According to Bodhicrew, 93 percent of India’s workforce is in the unorganized sector. The unorganized sector has historically been characterized by exploitation of women and children in domestic work environments.
Under the brand name “JustHelp,” Bodhicrew Services functions not only as a source of training for India’s underprivileged workers, but also as an advocate for social justice in ending this exploitation. It does so by locating job seekers in the unorganized sector, teaching them domestic work skills, and finding employers that treat workers humanely.
The company outlines the fundamental shortcomings of India’s unorganized sector: poverty, violence, social insecurity, low wages, and lack of education. It then seeks to reverse these shortcomings and to foster a work environment that provides workers with job placement and a support network.
By employing these methods, JustHelp has been successful in relocating workers who previously held jobs under exploitative employers to jobs that provide livable wages, meals, and protection from exploitative treatment.
Among these workers is Jhuma Jana, a resident of Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Before her enrollment in the JustHelp program, Jana was splitting her time between three different households while earning INR 3,000 each month – the equivalent of only $47.79/month.
Upon beginning the JustHelp Domestic Worker Training program, Jana was able to secure a job that pays her twice as much in a single household as she previously earned in three. Along with the higher salary, the new position provides Jana with regular leave and meals at her workplace.
Bodhicrew is also an outspoken advocate for policies that improve conditions for domestic workers and actively seeks to educate the public about those policies. Among these are policies that protect domestic workers’ wages, seek to provide safe work conditions, and emphasize the value of domestic work in India’s economy.
One of these is the Domestic Workers Welfare and Social Security Act which combats the “exploitation of women and children domestic workers” by obligating employers to provide domestic workers with benefits such as a minimum wage, medical leave and meals. The act also prohibits the employment of children as domestic workers.
Through its aid to domestic workers and effort to educate the public on policy, Bodhicrew Services is an asset not only to domestic workers, but to India as a whole.
Domestic work is integral to the Indian economy. The NSSO estimates that there are 4.2 million domestic workers in India. When these workers are given the opportunity to earn livable wages, they become consumers of commodities they could not otherwise afford, thereby stimulating the economy. The services that Bodhicrew provides are a necessary step in the pursuit of economic growth and human rights in India.
– Matt Berg