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Domestic Workers’ Movement

Domestic workers, especially women domestic workers are a constantly growing section in the informal sector of urban India. Streevani reaches out to women domestic workers enabling them to organize themselves for self-help and collective action. Counselling, legal aid, environmental awareness, gender sensitization and health and hygiene are some of such projects.

The movement for Domestic Workers has gained momentum rapidly and spreading to many more areas in the city of Pune.

  • Building an environment for domestic workers to access their social, economic and legal entitlements through the strengthening of Movement and Union
  • To organize and sensitize domestic workers to access their rights, social security and welfare schemes
  • To promote networking and partnership of domestic workers and organizations working for the domestic Workers
Area of Focus
  • Leadership
  • Empowerment
  • Dignity
Action Plan
  • Building awareness through training programmes, workshops, signature campaigns, poster campaigns, legal aids etc for justice and fundamental rights
  • Formation of area wise groups
  • Formation of SHGs
  • Sensitization of employers
  • Organize health and literacy camps for the domestic workers
The current activities are as follows: -
  • Membership : The membership in the movement has increased considerably and currently there are 5295 women registered under Streevani domestic workers movement.
  • Self Help Groups : 80 self help groups are active
  • Social Security Schemes :
    • Building awareness through training programmes, workshops, signature campaigns, poster campaigns, legal aids etc for justice and fundamental rights
    • Health insurance schemes under the social welfare board of the government of Maharashtra for domestic workers: 3221 women have registered under this scheme.
    • Pension scheme for the unorganized Sector, a Central Government Scheme: 86 persons have enrolled under this scheme. Registration under both these schemes are being continued along with widow pension and other welfare provisions.
  • Birth of our Union: The movement is registered as a Trade Union under the name of Maharashtra Gharelu Kamkar Union,Pune in February, 2014.
  • Total domestic workers registered under Maharashtra Domestic Workers Union : 3262
Domestic Workers’ Movement from 2014 - 2018
Total Programs Conducted
Name Of Activities
Total People Benefited
46Health Awareness Programs4867
34Legal Literacy Training Programs1241
46Leadership, Communication and Home Management Skills1683
63Awareness Programs on Government Schemes1729
28Training on Income Generation Program such as Housekeeping1247
Economic Empowerment
  • Initially our women were paid Rs. 300/- per work per month and now the women get Rs. 800/- for per work, per month.
  • They used to pay 5% to 10 % on interest to the money lenders, and now from the Self Help Groups they get loan for 1% interest.
  • Some have built own houses, bought land, auto rickshaws and four wheelers with own efforts and loan from the Self Help Groups.
  • A number of women have started small scale business such as selling vegetables, cloth shops, snacks stalls, making disposable dishes.
  • Many of our Women also started getting bonus.
  • Self help groups women are empowered to take up supplying food for events and food packets to working people on daily basis.
  • A number of women have learned tailoring and are able to earn through stitching.
Social Empowerment
  • A lot of women have learned to ride two wheelers and bicycles and are using it while going for work.
  • All women domestic workers are getting two holidays in a month and some are getting weekly off.
  • One of our board members is working as a community health worker under Municipal Corporation of Pune. She conducts health survey in the communities.
  • Majority of the girl children of the domestic workers are going to schools. All of them study at least up to 10th standard.
  • The age of marriage has gone up. Majority of the girls are married off only after they complete 18 years.
Legal Empowerment

Women are more open in sharing their domestic problems and taking legal help from Streevani.

Union board members, with their legal knowledge and experience, play active role in settling the cases in their respective areas such as domestic problems, fight between neighbours which is a regular feature in crowded areas where they stay.

Women empowerment: Individual Empowerment - Confidence, Courage, Motivation

The members expressed that most of our women are self-confident to face the life situations, learned to communicate and deal with the officials, and get things done. They have overcome fear of the crowd and become much more daring and take the lead in solving the problems of their areas. Some of the leaders help other women to open their bank accounts by accompanying them to the banks. In every area our leaders are very active and they are capable of mobilizing women to come together.

Some of the women also expressed that their mother in laws stopped harassing them, once they became leaders and members of Self help groups. Majority of the husbands respect and treat women much better now than before, since they know that there is a support system for women