Covid-19 and RWAs - A Piece of Advice to One and All


We should, hereafter use the term Domestic Worker' as laid down by the Domestic Workers Act 2010. A “Domestic Worker” means, a person who is employed for remuneration whether in cash or kind , in any house hold ‘or similar Establishments’ through any agency or directly, either on a temporary or contract basis or permanent, part time or full time to do the household or allied work includes a “Replacement worker” who is working and as a replacement for the main workers for a short and specific period of time as agreed with the main worker; Explanation: household and allied work includes but is not limited to activities such as cooking or a part of it, washing clothes or utensils, cleaning or dusting of the house, driving , caring/nursing of the children/sick/old/mentally challenged or disabled persons.'

'A number of RWAs and apartment owners as well as gated communities have sought clarification whether outsiders including delivery staff, domestic help including maids and house help can be permitted during this Lockdown period.',  The notification tries to clarify only about 'domestic help, maids' and does not clarify about 'delivery staff'.

Hence, there is a need to define 'delivery staff'.  As it has come to our notice that RWAs while allowing the milk delivery inside the apartments at each door of the apartment, they are not allowing newspaper delivery inside the gate.  These difference of opinions in many RWAs is causing unnecessary rift amongst the dwellers. When security men (different from watchmen who stay in a rented accommodation within the apartment) can come to apartments/gated communities on duty on daily basis, how is it that domestic workers attending to their duty in households are singled out as potential communicators ? It has been mentioned in 'The Hindu' paper how many a elderly couple/family suffered due to sudden loss of their domestic workers' attendance. Hence, there is a need to delineate guidelines to RWAs so that they do not dispute the domestic workers attending,  subject to their following standard safety Covid-19 procedures.

It is mandatory for everyone to wear a face cover/mask in public places. Each violation shall attract a fine of Rs.1000/-.' Then, it  would be appropriate to define 'public places'. Within apartments, the corridors and ground floors and garage are all common spaces, if not vastly public places, even though delivery staff and security staff from outside are allowed here.  Isn’t a face mask mandatory in these common spaces?   

In order to expect implementation and large awareness, we urge that every public eye-catching poster, jingles, ring tones, etc be issued under 3-language formula in English, Telugu and Urdu. 

Extracts from a letter to GoTS from

Dr. Lubna Sarwath, United Citizens’ Forum: Tel:9963002403; e:sarwath.lubna@gmail.com


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