KARACHI: Recently, there have been too many cases about torture inflicted on domestic helpers, especially ones who are under the age of 10. Tayyaba’s torture case act by the hands of a judge’s wife started a social media uproar that led the courts to taking some pressing decisions. However, abuse of domestic helpers is still rampant in our society that reeks of a colonial mindset.
In my vicinity, which is considered to be one of Karachi’s posh localities, domestic helpers as little as six-year-old are hired to take care of the sundry chores of a household. Although many of my neighbours take good care of their helpers, we can’t deny the fact that employing someone under the age of 14 is itself child labour. But what’s worse is that a few days ago I heard cries of one of these helpers coming from my neighbour’s house. I ran towards the balcony and could hear the little girl pleading and asking for an apology from her cruel masters who were beating her over matters unknown. I took up the courage and yelled at them. This made them stop and the little girl came on her side of the balcony to weep in solitude.
But I think this is not enough as this could make them abuse the girl when I am not around or worse ask her to stop pleading or crying out loud for others to hear. Is there a proper functioning institution in place where I could lodge such complaints? Or perhaps a helpline that I could immediately call and expect them to attend to my complaint at their earliest?
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2017.