Somethings I noticed about employers in general: -some buy their maids pre-paid cell phones or cell phone plans (not just out of the kindness of their hearts) but so they can know where the maids are 24 hours a day 5 days a week. This way, the maids have no excuse for not being able to inform the employer why they didn't come to work or why they were late. One of the most interesting questions in my questionnaire has been "do you think maids have changed, if so then how". The two main topics that came up were
  1. Modernity
    1. maids have now (some) started coming to work on scooters
    2. they can operate cellphones, SMS in english even if they have not gone to school
    3. they physically keep clean and dress well (wear make up) one employer even said that this chane has come from "observing the way we talk, live, behave"
  2. Dedication and Quality in Work
    1. they now do the bare minimum of what is required
    2. they work in many houses (have many avenues for income) so they finish their work as quickly as possible
    3. try to finish work that generally takes 2 hours in 30 minutes and leave
    4. In fact, the maid that works at my aunts house lovingly referred  to as "jaadu" always tries to leave the house early. When my older cousin is around the house, he always finds a long list of things for her to do after she finishes one task.

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About Vaidehi Dongre

Vaidehi is a sophomore majoring in International Studies with a focus on Southeast Asian political economy and development. After graduation, she is interested in obtaining a JD/MBA in International Law. Vaidehi will be working with scholars in Pune for four weeks to explore the difference in relationships between female employers and female maids depending on age group and income level.

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