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Meghalaya domestic workers seek Modi’s intervention on COVID-19 vaccine

The majority of domestic workers are women and also single mothers so this is the only work that provides them with a livelihood, yet they have neither recognition nor protection as workers,” the Union wrote to the PM

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Shillong: Domestic workers under the banner of the All Meghalaya Domestic Workers’ Union (AMDWU) on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking vaccination against COVID-19 on a priority basis.

The AMDWU also staged a poster campaign at IG’s point near the main secretariat to impress on the State government seeking COVID-19 vaccine on a priority basis.

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“As domestic workers are a population at risk, prioritise the COVID-19 vaccination so that they may continue to work without fear and harassment,” AMDWUpresident, B Kharmudai wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of 10th anniversary of the adoption of the ILO Convention 189, concerning ‘Decent Work for Domestic Workers’ on June 16.

“The majority of domestic workers are women and also single mothers so this is the only work that provides them with a livelihood, yet they have neither recognition now protection as workers,” the Union wrote to the PM on International Domestic Workers Day.

“During this pandemic, which is over 15 months now, they have suffered badly as employers kept them at a distance for fear of the virus. The majority of them lost wages. Those that did permit them to work, demanded more work and paid less while they had to spend more money to get to work as there was no public transport for several weeks. Living in poor habitation areas, they have had to continue to pay rents and repay loans and have been harassed for not doing so,” the letter narrated and appealed the PM to “pay heed to the protection of vulnerable domestic workers”.

On the other hand, the East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner, Isawanda Laloo emphasised on the importance of vaccination against Covid-19 during a meeting with representatives of commercial vehicles associations at her office here Thursday, even as ways and means to regulate traffic, seating capacity, pricing and other matters were also discussed.

The meeting, which was attended by the district transport officer, other officials and members of different local taxi, auto rickshaw and bus associations, discussed at length the importance of vaccination for drivers who are dealing and interacting with many members of the public daily, and for the need to safeguard their health and that of their families.

“Clarifications on this matter were also imparted by the district medical and health officer and his team and an interactive session was held to address the concerns regarding vaccination,” an official statement said.

“The deputy commissioner apprised the associations that even if vehicles are permitted, there is need to continue regulation by allowing only certain percentage of the commercial vehicles to ply either by using numbering arrangement or the odd-even formulas to which the associations were in agreement,” the release read.

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