Many members , being egalitarian and enamored of American practices of doing household chores by themselves and questioning the need to keep domestic help, may like to know that American officials working in india are getting advice on keeping domestic help. Sample this and tell us why do they need them, can't they do their work by themselves and can't afford HBDA
Even Indians of moderate circumstances have household help. Most households require at least two household staff, and you may need more, depending on your family size. You may have to replace staff members, or even the whole staff, before you achieve the right combination. Staff management can be difficult and requires patience and good nature. Some staff require constant supervision, especially on cleanliness, market prices, storage and use of food supplies, and personal effects.
The number of household help needed and their salaries differ according to individual households, with varying emphasis on their responsibility and ability. Below are examples of staff responsibilities. Many families employ one or more "all in one" helpers who combine the functions of cook, maid/houseboy, and nanny.
Housekeeper. Cleans the house, dusts, windows and appliances, runs errands and does small shopping. Does laundry if no dhobi is employed. Provides basic care for pets. May also prepare meals on the cook’s day off or if she or he is the only servant in a small household.
Cook/Chef. Plans the meals with you; informs you of what is on the market and does shopping; keeps a kitchen account book, which you should check; cleans vegetables and fruits; cleans the kitchen; does the dishes.
Nanny/"Ayah." Takes care of children, cleans their room, mends their clothing, and sees that it comes back from the launderer in good condition. May help with general housework if the family is small.
Why Americans need them, they can do the work by themselves
Driver. Acts as chauffeur, purchases gas and oil, and keeps your car in good operating condition. May run errands, make small purchases or payments depending on ability. May help the housekeeper with heavy lifting.
Gardener/ "Mali." Tends the lawn, shrubs, flowers, etc. Keeps lawn furniture and gate clean and can clean after pets if arranged in advance. May help the housekeeper with heavy lifting. Some people employ a sweeper as well to clean sidewalks, the patio and outside windows.
Watchman/"Chowkidar." The Embassy generally provides residential guards from 8:30 PM to 6:30 AM at leased housing. The Embassy residential enclave and Baghwan Dass compound are guarded 24 hours a day. Residential guards may be hired at personal cost for the day-time hours at leased housing.
Laundryman/"Dhobi." Washes and irons your laundry using your washing machine, dryer and iron. Depending on the size of your household, he may come in once or twice a week.
Indian domestic staff depend on their employers. Salaries are paid monthly in rupees and are considered quite affordable by western standards. The median monthly salaries for a full-time cook is $100; for a housekeeper, $100; for an ayah, $100; for a driver $120. (pittance even by Indian standards, but why they are not paying wages applicable in US when they claim their Mission and residences are US territory)Annual bonuses (1 month’s salary if the employee has worked at least a year, prorated for shorter periods) are given at Diwali, Christmas, or Eid depending on the servant's religious preference. The employer customarily provides uniforms and/or clothing; some employers provide tea, uniforms and/or clothing as well as some medical expenses. Overtime is given usually to drivers, to housekeepers borrowed from another household for special functions, and to your own servants who do extra work. Depending on house size and your individual preferences, one or two domestic staff normally live in. Most houses (but not all) have staff quarters. Very few Americans provide quarters allowance for servants living elsewhere.
All household staff should have a pre-employment physical examination and annual stool tests and chest x-rays. As of June 2005, the range in cost for full physicals was $10-$30; x-rays were $15. Domestic employees who are dismissed by you for any reason other than wrongdoing (e.g., if you leave post or your needs change) should be given severance pay at the rate of 1 month’s salary for each full year worked and a prorated portion of a month’s salary for employment periods of less than full years. If the employee resigns, you are not obliged to give severance pay but may want to give "service pay," something like a thank-you bonus; the amount is at your discretion.
The Domestic Staff Registry, operated by the American Women's Association (AWA), acts as an employment agency (Do they have license from labour dept to work as employment agency)to serve both American families and those who want to work for them. Employers are encouraged to consult the Domestic Staff Registry evaluations (chits) written by former employers before hiring, and, in turn, to write accurate evaluations at the end of their servant's employment. There are also domestic listings in the Post’s newsletter, the India Ink.
Families usually employ one or two servants. Those with a car often choose to hire a driver. Many domestics are available, but good ones are difficult to find on the open market. However, post has a tradition of handing down domestic servants from one officer to the next. Consequently, many domestics with several years of USG service are available. Wages for cooks/housekeepers stand at approximately Rs. 4000--4400 (roughly $85.00--$90.00) per month. The four apartments share a Dhobi, or laundryman, who spends one day a week at each flat, and does the laundry there. Each officer pays the Dhobi Rs. 600 (approximately $13.00) per month. The Dhobi uses the apartment's washer and dryer, and also irons and hangs clothing.