Hyderabad: These days every nook and corner in the city has a school that is working to render decent education to children. Not only teachers but there are other non-teaching staff like aayas and watchmen who work there to earn a living. Most often in primary schools, students glorify the aayas for their motherly care and affection towards them. While the teachers nourish the students in academics, aayas play a vital role in the moral upbringing of children.
When an aaya is kind and loving towards her group of children, they acquire the same ethics too. Coming to the watchmen, they serve the premises in a way no one else does. From keeping a record of the visitors to guarding on and off the coast of the establishment. These people share equal responsibilities as the teaching staff does.
The imposed lockdown has hit hard on the non-teaching staff, especially the aayas most of which are either single mothers or wives of unemployed husbands.
“Majboori rahi toh hi aisa kaam karte na humlog”, says almost every lady who works as an aaya in schools. The reason these ladies opt for this job is the wages they need for their survival and as they are uneducated and filled with motherly feelings, most often they tend to become aayas in schools and colleges.
These employees get a salary between 4000 and 6000 rupees. In a survey conducted by Siasat.com, it was concluded that most non-teaching staff are either given half of their payments or no salary at all amid lockdown.
When spoken to, these ladies wail about how bad the conditions of society agonize them. Laxmi said, “I am working in a school for almost seven years now and earn 5000 rupees and then I also worked in a bungalow in the evenings where I get paid some 3000 rupees. Amid lockdown, I neither have any work at school nor does the family at the bungalow want me to work.”
“Meri salary 3500 hai aur ab ye lockdown mei 1750 hi mil Rahi hai socho madam mai kaisa mere do bacchon aur mera guzara kar rahi hoon mere miya bhi kamaate nahi hain,” told Yasmeen Banu.
Many other workers like these aayas and watchmen are being laid off by their employers when it comes to paying them for their part during the lockdown.
The government’s schemes for such people amid lockdown need to reach all levels of society so that all needy people reap benefits from them.
Other organizations apart from the government that works for social service must also reach out to as many such people as they can.