The Urmila Home Managers’ Program (Urmila) is a training and placement program that bridges the gap between domestic helpers and urban households. The objective of the Program is to build capacities and skills of “housemaids” and create a cadre of Home Managers to provide reliable, efficient and specialized services to clients. The program was started in 2002 and was formalized in 2006.

Candidates are selected after personal interviews wherein the preparedness and willingness of the women to work is assessed. The selected candidates undergo rigorous training of 40 days. The training course includes basic, technical, specialization, behavioral and internship modules. For the training, Saath Livelihoods collaborates with subject-specific experts/ professionals, reputed hotels (generally four to five star hotels), and household appliance manufacturers.

The Home Managers, who are highly sought after, benefit from the organisational support, regular income, social security, a significant increase in incomes and increased opportunities for income generation. The enhanced skills empower them and give them a sense of pride and achievement because they are now able providers to their families.

The benefit for the potential clients is that the Home Managers go to work regularly and punctually, and in case the Home Manager is unable to go to work in the event of sickness or other contingencies/ personal needs, the organization sends a ‘replacement home-manager’ for the day(s). The program also makes the clients aware of the rights and duties of the home manager, and vice versa.

Based on the need and demand from clients for specialized care, Saath Livelihoods is considering training people in patient care and geriatric care. The specialized training has increased the scope of work for the trainees and has also raised their capacity to earn higher incomes.