Maid in India: Pictures and Issues of Domestic Workers of India

by Vikas Kamat and Jyotsna Kamat

First Online: January 25, 2014
Page Last Updated: January 01, 2015

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India is run by its maid servants.
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"Maid Servants" (a.ka. ayah, domestic, maid or outsider) as they are commonly referred in India are the millions of domestic workers of India who are hired for domestic help. They are typically women, hired to perform daily chores such as cleaning, washing and often caring for children, running errands and caring for the elderly. The low cost of labor in India and gigantic economic gap is the root cause of the exploitation of the domestic workers.

India is Run by its Maid Servants

People in India do not think it is wrong to hire domestic workers; the maid servants are so deeply embedded in Indian culture that when an Indian diplomat was arrested in USA (year 2013;)  for practicing similar practice, India was outraged.

Live-ins Vs Outside Domestics

Sample Tasks Performed by Maid Servants

  • Sweeping of yards, rooms

  • Wiping of floors, kitchens

  • Cleaning of bathrooms (some domestic workers refuse to clean toilets)


Wages, Vacations, Job Conditions


Male Domestic Workers

While there are a few, some men also work as live in domestic workers. However, part-time male domestics are few.

Pictures of Domestic Workers of India

The "Maid Servants" as they are known are often children themselves
Portraot of a young maid, Dharwad, 1970
Domestic Maids of India
Domestic Workers of India
Household Help Siddamma
Mysore, 1985

Picture of a Maid Servant, Bangalore
Refugees from disaster struck areas come to cities and work as cheap domestic help
Domestic Helper

See Also:

  • Women of India -- Frequently asked questions and articles on the roles and status of women in India. Includes biographies, topics on Sati, widows, history and artifacts.

External Links on Maids of India



    Kamat's Potpourri People of India Women of IndiaDomestic Workers

    Research Database

    Merchandise and Link Suggestions

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    Domestic Workers of India

    The Maid Servants as they are known are often children themselvesHousehold Help Siddamma
    Picture of a Maid Servant, Bangalore