Stale food, old clothes, leftover items, and toys our kids don’t find attractive enough. That’s all we have to give to our maids, no? And still, we expect complete sincerity and question them even on a day’s holiday. In Pakistan, a huge chunk of uneducated people, choose to be maids, drivers, sweepers, and other junior staff to earn something to feed their kids and family. They work tirelessly, jobs begin early morning as usual and end pretty late. Yet, they go home with a few bucks, hardly enough to afford two meals a day. And during occasions like Eid or weddings, the financial crisis makes it hard for these people to enjoy calmly.
Servant quarters in Pakistan aren’t up to date and those drivers or maids who are made to stay for the entire day and night have to adjust in hot rooms outside the house with limited or no facilities. In the 2019-20 budget, the federal government and the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have raised the minimum wage for unskilled workers from Rs 15,000 to Rs 17,500 a month.1 However, the junior staff is still paid little amounts around Rs 5000.
Moreover, the hardships don’t end here. People who work so hard to give the upper class a peaceful life in exchange for a few rupees are raped and harassed. So many cases do not even get reported due to a lack of facilities and governmental support. A 17-year-old domestic servant was found hanged inside the bungalow of her employers in DHA Phase-V on Saturday morning in 2017. 2 With the confusion between it been a suicide or a rape case, NO new law was made. In 2019, According to a preliminary postmortem report, Maria, 18, was 12 weeks pregnant; the suspect was taken into custody. She was subjected to incessant sexual assault and after she conceived a baby she was pushed from stairs which resulted in her death. 3 So many cases. So little attention. Is this what we call those young girls into our houses for? Is this what we do to them just because we pay them a few thousand? A little amount out of all that we educated people to earn, paid for taking someone’s life, respect, name, and morale? This country and it’s many so-called educated people who go around preaching Islam need to think and reflect. Is this what Pakistan was meant to be?
Zohra Shah, an 8-year-old poor soul, freed some expensive parrots from the harshness of a cage at her employer’s place and got beaten for doing so. There were cut marks on her arms and legs, scratch marks and bruises on her torso, and most disturbingly, torture marks on her genitals, thighs, and calves. 4 Firstly, employing kids who are meant to go to schools and then hurting them just for the sake of one’s money and valuable goods and not being able to forgive and accept the little mistakes a kid can do, that is, in itself, disgusting.
During the pandemic, following the lockdown orders set by the government, a lot of lower staff could not reach their jobs. They were to a part of those suffering from the financial crisis. However, many were fired without notice or not paid for the days they did not attend work. This led to severe issues in families who were already deprived and had no savings. The government started a PM Covid19 relief fund for a temporary period. A very few NGOs are working for these problems and comparing it to the number of families undergoing crisis this is not enough.
It is our responsibility, as the youth of Pakistan, to take care of those who don’t sleep peacefully. If we give a packet of biscuits to the garbage collector each day it won’t make a difference to us, but it will make him feel appreciated. If we teach our maids 1 page a day even it will help her stand for herself. A little gift on Eid to our staff at home and offices, our car cleaners, and anyone who is striving to work hard to be able to stand in line proudly with everyone in this expensive world, it will bring a smile to their faces, and one smile means the world smiles!
Setting the Minimum Wage https://dailytimes.com.pk/417306/setting-the-minimum-wage
Murder, Rape Fir Registered in Maid’s Death Case The Reporter https://www.dawn.com/news/1358296
Teenage Maid ‘sexually Abused, Killed’ By Employer in Islamabad Tribune
Pakistan: 8-year-old Zohra Shah, a Caged Soul Killed For Setting Birds Free