Generally, only those families having good incomes and those
having an agricultural bias employ domestic servants. However, the rural domestic servants and their urban counterparts differ in their nature and conditions of service. The rural domestic servants are usually employed during the sowing and harvesting period. They are paid in cash and kind according to the work performed. Servants who are employed for a year or more than a year, are technically known as attached labour. They are also paid in cash and kind. The extent of this type of labour is significant in Vidarbha and Marathawada regions. Attached labour is employed particularly to look after the cattle, to protect crops, and also for fencing, weeding, watering the crop, etc. A sub-category of rural servants, now fast disappearing, is the one where a worker is employed in the family of a Jagirdar, or Inamdar or a landlord in return for the monetary help received by him from the household, the period of service extending from about two years to five, depending upon the amount of loan taken.
In urban areas, two distinct classes of domestic servants can be found. The one employed as a full-time servant to do every possible kind of family service and the other employed partly for certain specific jobs, such as washing of clothes and utensils.
The majority of the servants are employed on part-time basis. Their monthly earnings vary between Rs. 25 and Rs. 45, depending upon the number of families they serve. The earnings of full-time servants vary between Rs. 30 and Rs. 50. In addition to this, they are also provided with meals, clothing, etc. The servants of the second category are mostly women, the monthly earnings of whom vary between Rs. 3 and Rs. 10.
During the last few years, the earnings of the domestic
servants as a class have increased. Consequently, there is some
awakening visible in this class. They are either trying to form
an union of their own or becoming members of1 other workers