Grand Omaxe: Maids have honour!
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Grand Omaxe: Maids have honour!

A 10-member watchdog group in this Noida Sector 93B society ensures that those who threaten women's safety are brought to justice.

Grand Omaxe: Maids have honour! Silpa Panpalia (left), Nita Singh (centre) and Swati Agarwal

Residents of Grand Omaxe in Sector 93B, Noida, won't take issues of eve-teasing and molestation lightly. As women's safety continues to spark outrage across the nation, residents, about a month ago, began to wonder what they as a society could do punish offenders.

Prompted by an incident of molestation against a maid allegedly by a society watchman, they formed a 10 member all-women group to cater especially to the safety of household helps.

The group has made a database of all part-time and full-time maids and procured the names and addresses of all the guards on duty from the security agency. The maids are instructed to report any abuse to their employer, who, in turn, inform the women’s group. If the offender is found guilty, the group not only ensures that he is fired, it also circulates his photo in neighouring societies so they are aware of his offence.

At the helm of the group are residents Swati Agarwal, Silpa Panpalia and Nita Singh. The other members are Divya Jain, Pinki Singh, Usha Gupta, Mohani Verma, Pavnita Singh, Chayan Majumdar and Meenakshi.

Swati Agarwal said, “A resident of the apartment had recently raised the issue that his driver’s wife, who works as a demostic help in the society, was molested. It enraged all of us, as the incident was reported from within the society.”

With that in mind, Agrawal approached the maid, who told her that whenever she went to the society's basement shopping complex, the guard would make lewd remarks or advances at her.

Another maid, too, made a similar complaint. In her case, she said, the guard had got her the job and now wanted sexual favours in return. 

Nita Singh said, “The incidents are not limited to maids. One of the guards attempted to molest a teenage girl in the society. This is a huge security breach — and the worst part is that it is from within the society." The basement, she added, became an especially dangerous area.

According to Silpa Panpalia, “Such incidents are on the rise and we need a watchdog group to tackle this.”

And its methods are working. According to Panpalia, three guards have already been expelled. "If an individual is found guilty, we ban his entry into the society premises. We try to be as judicious as possible to steer clear of false complaints.”