#AidToMaid: Apra Kuchhal empowers her maid Madhu
- IWB Post
- March 8, 2015
FICCI FLO Jaipur Chapter Chairperson Apra Kuchhal met Team JWB one sunny afternoon to talk about plans to empower her house-maid. This session was a part of our campaign ‘Aid to Maid’ in association with Jaipur’s very own jewellery designer Sonal Sawansukha.
How often do you talk to your maid about her family? How often do you discuss the problems she is facing? ‘Aid to Maid’ campaign is designed to build this habit in us. Because only the dialogue will let us know about her life and how we can contribute to make it better.
Apra made us meet her house-maid, Madhu, who unconditionally loves Apra and her family. Madhu told us how Apra repeatedly tells her about the concept of inner happiness and strength that has helped Madhu overcome some personal matters. Read the excerpts from the conversation:
JWB – Madhu looks so cheerful. What is the secret?
Madhu – Work with Apra bhabhi, and you will know!
JWB – Apra, tell us all about your lovely bonding.
Apra – Madhu joined me few years back. She takes care of my home while I am busy with work in the organization.
Madhu – I have a small family where I am the sole earner. My husband has lost his vision and cannot work. However, he supports me in every decision I make regarding work and finances.
Apra – Do you know, Madhu had a love marriage!
JWB – Wow, more secrets to spill?
Madhu – I am a school graduate and Hockey player. I can fetch a descent back office job but still I prefer working here. My right hand has a bone problem. I can’t twist my wrist, so I cannot do few kitchen works. In spite of this, she trusts my ability.
Moreover, I find working in a home safer as compared to other job profiles. I used to work with an export house but the ambiance there was rubbish. I feel safe and happy in her family.
Apra – You never told me about this export-house thing. What was wrong there?
Madhu – The male workforce had a foul-mouth for the female staff. I never felt secure there.
Apra – About safety, do you feel safe while traveling in the local bus everyday for work?
Madhu – Earlier I was afraid but now I have learnt how to tackle eve-teasers. Apra bhabhi keeps guiding me about things I might have forgotten in life. I used to cry a lot and crib about my misfortune but she told me that such behavior was not going to do any benefit, rather taking an action would.
JWB – Apra, you seem to have strengthened her emotional quotient a lot. Talk about her financial independence.
Apra – We opened a saving account for her some time back after so many oppositions from her family. But even today she prefers keeping her savings with me.
However, in this way it would be the loss of interest amount that she could get from the bank otherwise. To solve this issue, we both have started buying gold jewelry from her savings in order to keep up the gold value. Last time we bought gold earrings from that saved amount.
JWB – That’s an intelligent technique, Apra.
Madhu – With saving plans like this, I am not at all worried about my life after retirement.
Rather than a master-servant relationship, Apra and Madhu seem like friends. Every morning, Apra makes sure that she asks Madhu about her health and family. Madhu told us that how Apra had been supporting her younger son’s tuition fee too. Gestures like this can really help us form the solid bond with our female workforce.
Apra – Madhu makes sure she says ‘good bye’ to my daughter before leaving in the evening. She is a part of the family now.
Read Apra’s pledge to empower Madhu in coming time – ‘I pledge to take full responsibility of my house help, empower them, support them and guide them. They make our lives comfortable; let’s make their lives worth living.’
In pink washing gloves and holding washing scrub, Apra took pledge to clean the unfortunate fate of her maid with her love and support. At that, wearing Jewel Saga’s Gold Cuff Bracelet (the brand by Sonal Sawansukha) showcases the position of a master. Like it?
Photographer: Vinod Singh Gusain