The domestic helper was ‘never a maid but family’
Now 62-years-old, Madam Selvamary was a Singapore Armed Forces’ warrant officer and ran the household in a regimental manner. The two women, however, grew to love each other.
Madam Selvamary tried nominating the 53-year-old Madam Ambika for Foreign Domestic Worker of the year but was rather unlucky to have missed the deadline.
“Exemplary workers like Madam Ambika should be recognized,” said the president of the Association of Employment Agencies Singapore (AEAS) the organizers of the annual competition.
She said, “These workers don’t necessarily speak English but have stayed with their employers’ families for many years.”
AEAS claimed 480 employers more than the about 200 in the previous two years are nominating their maids for the award.
Madam Ambika according to her employer Madam Selvamary would bathe her late father who had dementia. She even carried him down the stairs while a lift was not yet installed in the block, change his diapers and not mind his morning outbursts.
She said, “She was never just a maid but family and had the authority to discipline my children.”
Madam Ambika was proud when the children who are now in their 30s got married.
She said, “it was like my children were getting married because Madam Selvamary insisted I attend as a family member.”
Madam Ambika said she will always remember the acre her employer shown her as she returns to India next month.