Archbishop urges domestic workers to find joy in job
By Adolf Washington
Bengaluru: Archbishop Bernard Moras has applauded an organization for giving new identity to domestic workers who go largely unnoticed and unrecognized.
More than 500 people have attended the fifth anniversary of a union for domestic workers in Bengaluru, capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
“The Church recognizes the dignity of labor and so you too should find joy in whatever you do,” the archbishop told more than 500 members of the Akhila (all) Karnataka Domestic Workers Trade Union started by a Catholic nun five years ago.
They gathered at the Bangalore Multipurpose Social Service Society hall adjacent to the Archbishops House on February 15 for the union’s fifth anniversary.
Founded by Sr. Nisha of the Franciscan Servants of Mary, the union meets every year to deliberate, discuss and address issues concerning the welfare of its members.
The union also held its annual general body meeting after members presented a cultural program and shared their positive and negative work experiences in the presence of Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore.
The archbishop in his message applauded the union for bringing together people in this work sector, which otherwise go unnoticed. The prelate also appreciated priests and religious involved in the union.
He quoted St. Paul to stress that people who do not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). “This, understood in its right perspective, means, we must not remain idle so long as we are able. Our work brings means for our sustenance,” the 75-year-old prelate added.
Among those present were secretaries of the Commission for Migrants and Itinerant people, Fr. Martin Puthusserry, general secretary and Fr. Shaju Kalappurakkal, Executive secretary.Fr Francis Guntapilly Regional Secretary of the Commission for Labor, Karnataka Regional Conference of Religious, Sr Nisha founder of the Union, Sr Risy Joseph Secretary of the Andhra unit of Union, Sr Sali, In-charge of social welfare of the Kerala unit and Sr.Valsa.
The union is affiliated to the Confederation of Free Trade Union of India. Kanakarao, President of the Private Union affiliated to the federation, was guest of honor.
The general body meeting called for greater networking with organizations with similar focus and chalked out plans for getting more domestic workers a platform to voice grievances with regard to wages and work conditions.
Domestic workers in India are largely unorganized with few organizations voicing their struggles.