‘Well-Being’ of Domestic Workers in India
Work that domestic workers engage is highly demanding and undervalued. Though a large number of women are employed in this sector, statistical clarity largely remains unaddressed. The sector is plagued with unregulated low wages and lack of policies. Thus it becomes essential to understand the well-being and mental health of domestic workers. Through different empirical studies, it has been observed that these women suffer from depression, anxiety, suicide ideation and suicidal attempts. They face a plethora of interwoven complex web of problems that range from intimate partner violence, alcoholic male family members, lack of child care facilities, financial burden, and interrelationship conflicts etc. The work demands them to take orders from individuals who are younger than them and often bear the considerable amount of humiliation too. This makes it imperative to study the well-being of domestic workers. This chapter outlines the concept of well-being followed by the different models of well-being such as Mental Health Continuum, PERMA, Psychological Capital (PsyCap) and Quality of life. The chapter then leads to the issues and challenges faced by domestic workers such as unregulated and underpayment of wages, caste and religion, non-recognition of skills, working conditions etc. Finally, the chapter culminates suggesting few well-being initiatives. In future, mental health programs addressing the mental health and well-being issues need to be designed. The sector needs to be pursued diligently in the modern welfare society.
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