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India: National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM)

India: National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM)

by IDWFED published Oct 02, 2014 06:21 PM
Formed in 1985, NDWM has been organizing domestic workers and promoting for their rights. It is now currently working in 17 states all over India. It further established National Domestic Workers Federation (NDWF) in 2013 to get domestic workers more organized into trade union structure.
Street Address A – 104, St. Mary’s Apts, Nesbit Road, Mazegoan, Mumbai 400 010
Phone Number +91-22-23702498
Fax Number +91-22-23771131
Email [email protected]
Type Worker Association
Number of Male Members
Number of Female Members
Members Pay Fees Check if members pay fees
Maintains Register of Fees Paid Maintains register of fees paid
Year Established 1985


VISION: To create a just society for all domestic workers where they are treated with dignity and justice, their rights are upheld, they are recognized for the contribution that they make towards the economy and development, they have recourse to justice and their voices are heard and recognized in every decision that affects their life. It also envisions a society where child domestic work is abolished and all children enjoy the rights of mainstream education and fuller childhood.

MISSION: As a Movement we commit ourselves to ensure and promote the dignity of domestic work; justice for all domestic workers and empowerment of domestic workers through participation of domestic workers at all levels.

Recognition of Domestic Workers’ and their contribution to the economy
Dignity to Domestic work and Domestic Workers
Just wages, Working conditions and Security of work
Welfare and Social Security measures that are entitled to all other workers
Empowerment of all Domestic workers’
Recognition of Children in Domestic Work as Child labour, which should be banned
Work towards a safe Migration Policy for the Domestic Workers


To a society which spurned domestic workers as worthless people who could be dealt with in any way, speaking about domestic workers and their rights meant hardship. Under the Varnashrama dharma (the caste system in India) the domestic workers mostly hailed from lower castes and generally with little or no education and no social recognition. To make a living the domestic workers did everything their employers wanted then to do from cleaning and washing to looking after the sick and old people in return they used to get stail foo, old clothes and little or nothing in cash as payments. Sadly many of them were harassed and abused sexually. They lived a life of slavery under their employers. They were treated as objects or machines rather than that human beings with flesh and blood. Their feelings were never a concern for the employers.

Moved by the facts revealed about the subhuman conditions of domestic workers in India by the survey conducted by Catholic Bishops Conference of India in 1978, getting into the psyche of domestic workers by regular interactions with them to understand the inexplicable pain they underwent within and a will to struggle with the domestic workers for their rights and dignity prompted Sr.Jeanne Devos, a Belgian Missionary to Indfia, into founding the national Domestic Workers Movement in India in 1985.

Since then the Movement has engulfed domestic workers from 17 states of India and the strength of domestic workers with the Movement has crossed 3 million mark. 27 years have gone by since the inception of the Movement and we keep trading the path and moving ahead tirelessly advancing the cause of domestic workers and child domestic workers and migrant domestic workers.


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