It been a long time since I have said a “Hello” to you all.
Today’s blog is dedicated to all those special people who make the life of a home-maker a lot easier, our helpers. It is an ode to the less fortunate lot of the society who unfortunately have to do odd jobs in order to survive.
Almost every household in India employs house-helpers, including us. Let me introduce you to Mr. Babu Lal Nisad. A fun loving and cartoony character of our house.
Babu lal Nishad (BL) came to Delhi with no dreams, expectations or desires. All he needed was money for the survival of his family of 7 & an infant. He is the sole earning member of this family. Being educated only till class 5, he can barely read or write (However, he is active on facebook and whatsapp!). Babu Lal came to my house desperately asking for a job as a house-help, we hired him & he is now an integral part of our family.
This is BL’s work station. A portable speaker, a phone (with a JIO Sim for unlimited internet), earphones and a smile on his face. He listens to up-beat hindi and bhojpuri film songs from the 90’s all day long while he is working. At night he watches movies on his new 4g phone which was gifted to him by us on Diwali. He watches each and every cricket match, almost all daily soaps and music reality shows. Up till now, BLs life seems quite sorted and happy, but he has his own share of hardships.
He is up by 8am and is working till late. He works literally more than anyone in the house. He is our plumber, electrician, cook, sweeper, cleaner & entertainer. He visits his parents every 4 months and misses them terribly. He misses his nephew “lucky’ the most.
One day, I was upset at him for not doing the job he was asked to do. When asked “why?” he innocently replied “Bhabhiji, woh tv pe India ka match aah rah tha. Dhoni ne kya match khela hai. Mazza aah gaya” (Madam, I got busy watching a cricket match. Dhoni is playing very well.) The moment he said this, I saw a glimpse of a teenage boy who should have been in college playing cricket with his friends instead of cleaning my kitchen. I instantly apologized and walked away. This incident left me thinking over crude realities of life.
It’s funny how unfair karma can be sometimes. As teenager I had no responsibilities. I wasted my father’s hard earned money at restaurants and pubs, while BL had to probably work in them. I was given video games, while BL was given a broom to sweep the floors. I received the best education my parent could afford, while BL had to afford his parents.
After meeting BL I decided I was going to do something to help him out. And I think you should too. Here are a few simple ways in which we can make our helpers feel special.
- Try and educate them. May be get them in the habit of reading the headlines of the newspapers, speak a few words in English or get some Hindi books for them so that they can increase their knowledge. BL can now understand and speak a few English words.
- Take them shopping or give them money for new clothes every season. Then make sure they spend the money on the right purpose for which it was given. At least they know someone cares.
- Make sure they eat well.
- Be nice to them. They are not our personal slaves. Make your home their home.
- Offer their children education. My husband sponsors education for 2 kids and it is the best money we spend in the entire month.
- Give them some respect. They too are humans.
- Watch the way you talk to them. “Thank you” and “Sorry” are two extremely important words which we seldom say to our helpers.
- Pay them on time. They need this money more than you do.
- Make sure they get regular doctors visits and live a healthy fulfilling life.
While you are reading this article, take a look at all your house-helpers and put yourself in their place. You will then learn how privileged you are. Your helpers clean your home, wash your clothes, bathe your children, cook your food and make sure your family is safe. Don’t you think it’s about time we return their favor?
Let’s make the less fortunate lot of the society feel better about themselves.
Help your house-help by giving them a better life and respect.
Spread the love and keep smiling
P.S :- BL was extremely excited about this blog. He posed spontaneously for all the pictures. Comment below if you have any messages for him. I will make sure he reads all of them. He will be super happy to see people reaching out to him.