India: There's no reason I should be ashamed of what work I do, says a domestic worker
I had to become a domestic worker when I was young—my parents worked but could not afford to send me to school when I was younger. My mom also worked as a domestic worker and my father was a rickshaw puller. They worked hard but could still not afford the fees. I was fortunate to work for a landlady who sponsored my education until 9th standard.
My mom is associated with SEWA and recommended that I look into the programs at the Youth Resource Center (SYRC). I graduated after studying beauty culture and now work at a parlor owned by another alumna of the SYRC program! We are working hard to see more clients in the future.
The SYRC allowed me the space to create an identity of my own. Previously I was known as a domestic worker—I was embarrassed to tell my fellow classmates. But my trainers and classmates treated me equally once they found out my role of work. There’s no reason I should be ashamed of what work I do—I am much more than just what I am employed as. I am a daughter. I am proud. I am encouraged. I am a sister.
I have 5 other siblings and hope that they have the best chance at a bright future. I work in the mornings as a domestic worker still, so that I can provide for myself. The salary I make from the beauty parlor goes to my siblings’ education. They are my motivation.
Story Type: Story