Hiring a Housemaid in India

I read a report in The Times of India dated November 6, 2009 that would send shivers down the spine of every working mother.
A particular Nanny in Bangalore was renting out a seven-month-old to a group of street beggars for a meager sum of Rs 100 per day. The child would be sedated and then taken on the mean streets of Bangalore so that it could arouse sympathy and gain more money for the beggars who hired it.
The nanny’s heinous act came to light when one day the mother came home earlier than usual and found the nanny watching TV while her baby was missing. When pressurized, the nanny confessed to renting out the baby. It was then that the mother realized why the baby had been drowsy and inactive in the evenings for the past few days! The worst of it all – this particular nanny was hired from a so-called Maid Hiring Services agency that specialized in providing skilled and “background-verified” domestic help.
Besides the nanny who fell prey to easy money, who is at fault in this situation? The agency which breached the trust of its client? Or the parents who to pursue their own career interests blindly entrusted their child? Or is it the society that encourages begging and even gives rupee or two extra on seeing a crying child?
I can imagine the manner in which orthodox women must have reacted to the incident. They must have pointed fingers at the mother for leaving her child and house in the hands of an unknown. They must have blamed the mother for prioritizing her career over her infant. They must have called the already traumatized mother careless and egoistic for not realizing her baby’s well-being.
This unfortunate incident highlights the simple mistakes we tend to make when we hire a nanny. Here are some common precautions that one should always take before hiring a nanny or any other domestic help:
  • Try to hire a nanny/house maid/domestic help from a certified or reputed agency. Insist the agency on providing you with photographs, address proof and references of the resource they are sending for you.
  • Personally cross-check the credentials of the house maid with the references provided. These references should not be relatives or friends of the maid but her past employers. Most people will gladly help. Take down their name, phone number and address carefully. If they don’t co-operate, insist the agency on providing you some other resources or more references.
  • Always, ALWAYS pay surprise visits when the nanny/maid/domestic help is alone at home. Open the door with a spare key to catch the person unawares. That way, you will know what the person does while you are away.
  • Pay surprise visits at different times of the day and on different days. Avoid disclosing details of the time you will come back home from work.
  • Register the details of the maid with your local police station. This way you will be better equipped to handle any adverse situations.


Humanitarian said...

Its true that it is becoming really difficult for women tom pursue their careers. esp. in metros.without a domestic help..if they have small kids....there is no solution to this problem..what to do if one's in-laws are also not supportive? They don't want to leave their native place and the comforts there in order to support a sons family..what we want is our elders to keep a watch on domestic help and to render moral support..but they just don't want to do even this much...to let our kids know what it is to have grandparents around all the time..unfortunately as far as i am concerned they just want money from us and nothing else...I can't do without a domestic help..any solution?
Ashima Rajawat.

Anonymous said...


Pls mail us at info.lgsnurse@ymail.com, if interested to supply Indian maids to Singapore.

LGS HR Consultant
Licence No. 03C4483

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