Pakistan, a nation raised by ‘maids’ and ‘aayas’

Published: February 2, 2014
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My train of thoughts came to a sudden halt when a child fell off the jumping castle and ran straight to his maid for comfort.

During my last visit to Pakistan, I happened to attend a three-year-old’s birthday party. As the birthday boy belonged to the elite class of a capital city, the extravagance that met my eyes as I walked through the magnificent rust and copper gates, did not dazzle me at all.

I was, however,  surprised to see a group of young girls, aged 10 to 15, dressed in obvious hand-me-downs standing near a bunch of little kids playing pat-a-cake. These girls matched the kids around them, both in number and jocundity. My host told me that the girls were the ‘maids’ of the invited kids and were responsible for their care.

Unable to overcome the separation anxiety, I held onto my daughter’s hand and quickly made my way to the aristocratically designed drawing room whose air was filled with the scent of expensive perfumes worn by ‘mums’. The designer hand bags, clothes and high heels along with freshly manicured nails were all augmenting the exuberance of the atmosphere. This was all starkly different to the kids’ birthday parties I had attended abroad where even the wealthiest of parents would usually be dressed up in casual clothes and thongs ready to spend the day in the play pen with the kids.

After a good deal of discussion about the latest trends and styles and chalking out the plans for the next committee party and dars, it was time to talk about the kids which straight away led to the conversation about their primary care givers – the maids.

While a few mothers boasted about having found the most perfect maid, most of them seemed quite annoyed with the ‘lazy bones’ they had to deal with every day. I inferred, from what I heard, that the ratio of the number of maids to the kids in a house should not be less than one and an efficient maid was one who could cater to all the needs of a child – bathing, feeding, playing, toileting with minimal input from the mothers.

Feeling a little left out, I took my daughter outside to join the kids who were then busy striking the piñata. As I stood there, I noticed the group of maids, sprightly discussing a whole heap of adolescence issues, from body image to boyfriends, oblivious of the toddlers they were carrying, who were all ears. While I commended their fluency in Urdu and knowledge of a few interspersed words of English, most of them displayed a complete lack of basic manners.

However, to my utmost astonishment, one of them seemed familiar with the concept of ‘naughty corner’ although she was unable to execute it on this mischievous child who was too sure of his superiority to her and thus, completely refused to obey the command. For the rest of the evening, I saw these girls feeding the kids, changing the diapers, rocking the babies while mums remained engrossed with discussing the likely outcome of a soap opera and the caloric count of the sumptuous food before them.

I had never come across such a form of procrastination before.

Just then, I felt a sudden cringe and a strong sense of inferiority as I spotted a Siamese cat, close to the outdoor heater, licking her four fur ball kittens while they all suckled at her. The supreme creation of nature was proving itself, yet again, to be the only mammal who would hand over the care of its offspring to someone else, that too so clearly incapable and inadequate for the role.

It was heart rending to see that a role that required first aid and CPR skills, a meticulous police check and certificate in early childhood education abroad, was here assigned to immature country girls who were hardly capable of looking after themselves. This clearly in itself was a form of brazen child abuse. The fastest phase of a child’s brain growth, the critical time for the acquisition of language, manners and basic life skills all seemed at stake to me.

Babies are born with an innate trust for the primary care giver and the goal of early childhood is to strengthen this bond of trust through close interaction and mutual play. The quality of this bond has a profound impact upon inter personal relationships, ability to trust, and self-esteem and stress management later in life. Many parents who struggle to abridge the child-parent gap when faced with a rebellious adolescent are the ones who inadvertently created it during early childhood.

My train of thoughts came to a sudden halt when a child fell off the jumping castle and ran straight to his maid for comfort. To many, it was an ordinary scene but for me, it was exhibition of an extremely unusual behaviour signifying a relative lack of trust in a mother and confusion in role identification. In a state of sheer disbelief, I went to take a seat in a corner. As I sat there, I overheard a mother saying to another,

“We are only considering Aitchison College for our boy, don’t want him to mix up with the middle class, you know.”

From a distance, I could see her son sitting in the lap of his maid, trying to scoop out a portion of chocolate fudge cake from her plate with both of his hands, simultaneously.

A sarcastic smile crept up on my face. Oh the irony…

Kiran Zafar

Kiran Zafar

A graduate of King Edward Medical College and member of the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health and Advanced Fellowship Trainee of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, she currently resides in Queensland and tweets as @drkiranzafar (twitter.com/drkiranzafar)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Unknown

    Again a medical doctor but this time a reasonable blog.

    This blog is a nice attack on the elite mindset of the pakistanies who don’t want their children to be mixed with the lower class but let their children grow in the hands of ayas from lower middle class.

    I am surprised that the author thinks that ordinary people in Pakistan also know about naughty corner concept. Almost every mother, aya know this since ages and yes this english name is new for them.

    The author said that in Pakistan ayas are illiterate and lack basic skills which is necessary for this job. Then my question is why with all those certificates and training, many cases of child abuses arise by the nannies in the west. Kindly look at this video, if you have access to youtube that how trained nanny was hitting a small child
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8Ni4gXnnK0

    According to author, Pakistan is a nation that is being raised by ‘maids’ and ‘aayas’. I just want to know how she describe the western nations? Is nanny concept alien to west according to the doctor?Recommend

  • unleashedleader

    Hats off!! Very well written indeed. This is one of the main reason of our ill-mannered kids.Recommend

  • imran

    Truely saidRecommend

  • 99% of Pakistan

    Kiran, As mush as I liked your article I am inclined to point out that the title you gave is misleading to say the least. I fail to see a reason behind your assumption that Pakistani nation is bought up by the maids and ayaas. The elite and their lifestyle you talk about constitute a very tiny percent of our country. The people who contribute to the “nation” are middle and lower class. Everyday folk who I see in the markets, in my office, in my village. Recommend

  • Nobody

    Enjoyed this more than I thought I would.
    I hate the generalization that all children raised by ayaas are ill mannered considering my mother and all five of her siblings were brought up by ayaas and not a single one of them is entitled or ill mannered; however, that is because the parents managed to strike a balance and did not skimp on teaching manners to their children whilst making sure to eliminate any sense of entitlement because humility is of such important to one’s character.
    It’s difficult, but not impossible.

    However, in today’s world I’m not sure what’s changed with parents in Pakistan. I feel children of elite’s have a stronger sense of entitlement and less grasp on manners in today’s world [in my experience and based on my own observations, not fact]. Money makes them feel they have the right to do anything; it was not so before as my parents grew up around wealth in Pakistan and are anything but entitled, despite having ayaas.

    Point of my rant, parents have seemingly become lazy and more self absorbed now.

    P.S. The comment about sending one’s child to Aitchison to avoid mixing with the middle class…..tell me that was a joke (?!)Recommend

  • http://pyca.org.pk Ammar Zafarullah

    If only the author could feel the injustice to these 10-15 year old so called Aya’s who are being deprived of their righ to education. I could not care less about the development of these brats when these maids are treated like out casts in restaurants parks and parties.Recommend

  • Parvez

    As you obviously belong to the same class ……………. what has caused this introspection ?
    Have you by any chance asked yourself some though questions about your family and self ?
    ……….. and have the answers disturbed you ? because if so, you are a brave and well meaning person and I resect you for that.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    When you encourage women from day one of their marriage to become mothers, when having kids is seen as the ultimate height of achievement, when having kids is recommended as the panacea to all the problems (husband losing interest? Have a kid! Inlaws unhappy? Have a kid!) and motherhood is seen as ‘natural’ for ALL women, no matter how immature or narcissistic they are personality-wise – you will have situations like these, where women have children for the sake of having children, but have no natural affection for their offspring, either because they didn’t really want to have children or because they were simply not suited, emotionally or temperamentally, to taking care of a child. Recommend

  • TUNG

    well well well!why r u acting as a foreigner!u have lived your whole life here and went just for your post grad!maybe you were also raised by a maid once in your lifeRecommend

  • Sabah

    Spot on!! The point missed here by the one who wrote the first comment if you scroll up is that…. Mothers paki or foreign should be actively involved in the kids upbringing!!! The manners like “please give your seat to an elder person” or “do not start eating till elders have taken from the table first” etc are hence vanishing n becoming norms of the past. Sad but true.Recommend

  • abubakar

    This article would be more true had the word pakistan been replaced by elite pakistani, because only those money launderers can afford these kind of luxuriesRecommend

  • Mina

    please fix the words … “clothes and thongs” Recommend

  • Anonymous

    This does not end here. If you happen to go see the schools, not just the elite schools but even these Lahore Grammar or Beaconhouse School; the most common talk is having a boyfriend and how they plan to sneak out on a date or have this secret corner to exchange kisses and what not.

    The basic fundamentals of right and wrong are not being taught at this very level.Recommend

  • pj

    true very true, that’s why we have so many Hippocrates in our political parties, say some thing and do some thing totally opposite, poor are there to be used, but to be supported and appreciated….double standards.Recommend

  • PK Mehmaan

    With around 49% of the population living on less than $1.50 per day and a large but economically stunted middle class, it is hardly the whole of Pakistan being raised by maids. Another thing I’ve noticed about the educated elite classes is that they say things in a snooty voice like “Oh, allll women drive in Pakistan,” or “Nobody wears shalwar anymore in Pakistan, only trousers,” without thinking outside of the elite bubble. Perhaps they mean only the women who count as human to them. That said, very good critique here. I have also observed the same thing. Children as young as 9-10 to teenagers, all from very marginalized backgrounds and treated with contempt by adults, but expected to mind the elite children. I once even saw a 4 year old spitting on a mildly mentally challenged 14 year old ayah for entertainment and the mother of the child did absolutely nothing about it. The ayahs are treated like dirt, made to sit on the floor while begums sit in chairs, made to feed children meals that they cannot eat themselves because separate cutlery and cheap rice-lentils are reserved for them. Sitting in restaurants eating nothing while the employers eat, wearing rags or hand me downs. According to employers, the maids are filthy and have bad hygiene, but they often feed the employers’ children with their hands. They are sometimes slapped, and frequently verbally abused. It’s sickening. And the elite children grow up thinking this is how poor people are supposed to be treated. It’s shocking. And common. And when one raised one’s voice against it, one is told, “You have to treat these maids meanly or else they will steal and take advantage of you.” How can the elites have people they despise and treat like filth raising their children? It’s a real conundrum. And this emotional and developmental minefield of a situation is the one most elite children grow up with, leading them to be compassionless, self-entitled souls. Everybody claims to treat their maids kindly and “like family,” but if you step outside of the situation and peek into what is going on, very few do. There is no standard of what good treatment is, and there should be a legally defined and enforced standard to protect these most marginalized people from exploitation. An impractical suggestion since the state hasn’t the resources for such a thing. Recommend

  • Nida Amir

    I think the author has an inferiority complex, I was raised with the HELP of maids and I also employed maids, got them enrolled in inter, most of my friends also had maids who also made sure they were getting educated with the help of an ustaani. I was working part time, but I lived with my in-laws so if I was out for 2-3 hours at a time, the maid watched the kids whether my mom in law was home, awake asleep or watching over them as well. This bday party described above is a typical birthday that I used to attend, and also have for my own kids. We are not fluffy house wives who just dump kids on maids and carry designer bags and flaunt around, we are educated, concerned mothers. I have 2 boys I never bottle fed them, made sure they were getting the best upbringing possible, made sure they played with kids from the streets as well as kids who are their own peers.
    I moved abroad in 2012, and now I’m “maid-less” do you think I’m helpless and failing miserably as a parent? I am a full time student at McGill university, and I plan to do a fellowship in paediatric dentistry in UBC, which is a 3 year residency program.
    Where will my kids be then? In school and day care. I miss the family atmosphere that we in Pakistan can provide for our kids, yes with the help of maids, but making sure they are home in their own environment. The author needs to stop getting flabbergasted by the “extreme” experience of a typical birthday party of the so called elite class, and focus more on what is the basis of the need to employ maids in the first place. Recommend

  • a mother with a maid

    Ayas and maids do play a huge role in the household of the elitest pakistanis, which is no different from the philipino, egyptian, hispanic and other nannies around the globe.
    The pakistani socioffalite mom is the same as a socialite mom anywhere else.
    I think its a global phenomenon, because children of the upper class everywhere suffer through such a setup.
    I think mother’s without caregiver support may just as well be neglecting their children by subjecting them to excessive screen time while they toil away at chores around the house, or doing what ever needs their attention. Finding a good caregiverdefinitly make a mother a happier mother, but the trick is to be able to delegate the laborious tasks and be able to identify and enjoy quality time with their child or children.
    Also you seem to sound like a mom of one child. What if you had 3? Maybe that could open you up to getting support and maybe that would change your perspective a bit.
    Btw, I have 2 kids 6 and 2 yrs old. I never kept a maid till my elder one was almost 4 and my younger one was about to be born, and I never take my maid to any birthday party, neither do I show off LV’s on my shoulder. I choose to bathe and feed my children and I make them sleep myself too, but I really see no pleasure in washing bottles and keeping their room organised.
    Plus I work projects so maids help the grandparents when im busy.
    And I know im much happier with the help I get! Recommend

  • Samrah Azam

    First of all this is too bad and disgracing for mothers who give their blood to raise their children only less than 1% mothers have facility to have full time aayas and maids. It is a good reminder for only those who are careless. But mostly I have come across with mothers who even have full time maids but they still change their kids pampers themselves. If some of them are careless they represent less than 1% of total population of Pakistan. No one has right to disgrace rest of 99% of population’s motherhood. Our region’s mothers are role models for rest of the World and pretty good at multi tasking and keeping balance between home, family and work. I only disagree with the bold captions they used ” Pakistan a nation raised by maids and ayaas” That is not fair for all other 99% mothersRecommend

  • iram

    to be honest a very small minority in Pakistan affords maids anyway…why generalize an entire country just because of a small minority….Besides,children raised in Pakistan have much stronger morals and values anyway…and there has to be a reason why…’obviously upbringing it is’….lets learn to give credit to whats good in us and improve whats wrong in us…instead of openly defaming our own country……our own people….Recommend

  • Samrah Azam

    First of all this is too bad and disgracing for mothers who give their blood to raise their children only less than 1% mothers have facility to have full time aayas and maids. It is a good reminder for only those who are careless. But mostly I have come across with mothers who even have full time maids but they still change their kids pampers themselves. If some of them are careless they represent less than 1% of total population of Pakistan. No one has right to disgrace rest of 99% of population’s motherhood. Our region’s mothers are role models for rest of the World and pretty good at multi tasking and keeping balance between home, family and work I only disagree with the bold captions they used ” Pakistan a nation raised by maids and ayaas” That is not fair for all other 99% mothersRecommend

  • Sara

    The author writes about the maids:
    “As I stood there, I noticed the group of maids, sprightly discussing a whole heap of adolescence issues…most of them displayed a complete lack of basic manners.”

    And about the elite mums:
    “aristocratically designed drawing room whose air was filled with the scent of expensive perfumes worn by ‘mums’. The designer hand bags, clothes and high heels along with freshly manicured nails were all augmenting the exuberance of the atmosphere.

    She seems to be classist on all counts haha! Except for herself and of course the Siamese cat. Boo hoo.Recommend

  • Saira

    Author seems to b very judgmental and seems to think the level of care she provides is definitely superior.
    It’s extremely easy to judge ppl when youre an outsider.
    I’ve lived in the west since I was a kid and returned to Pakistan after my marriage so I’ve seen both. In the west(I’m talking about Canada specifically) mothers and fathers usually leave their kids in school from 7 am till about 6/7 pm, because everyone works over there. Children are with impersonal teachers all day. It’s true – mothers at bday parties do leave the care of their children to the maids for that One hour – woh bhi it is under their supervision. They need that one hour. All day most of them are extremely hands on with their kids – more so than the mothers of the west.
    And the author seems extremely judgemental also about what the mothers talk about at bdays – we can only talk about soap operas kids and designer labels because we’ve given up our careers/ studies / interests to take care of our kids. It’s inconceivable how the author has judged all the mothers as a whole by just attending one party and being with them for one hour or two at a bday. To doesn’t seem fair – not does the author seem vRecommend

  • taniya

    Errrrr no mention of the utter disgusting practice of this so called elite crowd employing child labour to look after their offspring. The writer had some really good points but how was the most disturbing content of the entire article not highlighted.Recommend

  • Saira

    Plus – I’m wondering where she herself leaves her child when she goes off to work.
    In addition – we don’t need our maids to b trained in CPR and first aid because hildren are never alone with them. They are always in front of us. Recommend

  • sarah

    Haha, I don’t think the writer knows what a thong is!Recommend

  • a father

    @Unknown:

    don’t shift the blame… the article is about pakistan. if any other nation is also raised by ayas and maids then they share the same problems. you can’t just blame other people for the same thing and think it is some sort of justification. it is not. its just an admission of guilt and an inability to accept that guilt. just accept it and everything will be fine.Recommend

  • http://emmefemme.wordpress.com EmmeFemme

    There are exceptions you know!
    But yes, that ‘identification confusion’ between a mother and a maid always gets to me! Why give birth if you aren’t going to take care of YOUR baby!Recommend

  • sam

    superb article , a very well thought aspect of our society pointed out but I have a maid I breastfed my son for almost two years have been with him through thick and thin and have employed a maid as well who plays with him and helps me out as its extremely stressful to be full on hands 24/7 I’ve experienced it abroad while I was in london and trust me with a son like mine I wouldn’t get two hours of sleep at night or in the day so if u have the basic principles of Islam that is equality margined out in ur mind a maid is as necessary for a mom as food and water that is if u have a mischievous one my sister on the other hand lives abroad mashaAllah with two beautiful girls who are angels and she has never employed a maid even there as she can easily handle them I on the other hand will even employ part time help if I ever go abroad again k can’t put myself through the past again trust me without any sleep one goes crazy I’m much happier in pakistan where I have the support of family and my sweetheart maid may Allah give her good qismat and give me strength to give her a beautiful futureRecommend

  • Sarah

    People in Pakistan will argue that children in the West are tossed into daycares merely a few months after they’re born. Perhaps the author needs to be more tolerant of cultural differences. It wouldnt surprise me if her parents and grandparents were born and raised in Pakistan with the help of ayaas and maids as well. Recommend

  • Maheen

    Love it!
    No wonder mothers look at me in a weird way when I play with my son in the mud, jump with him in the bouncy castle, sing loud rhymes with him in public, run after him even though his very well trained Nanny is with him.

    I loved the aitchison bit. Met a mother and asked about her
    daughtr’s school. Her reply:
    “LGS defence zaahir hai. Sab ki betiyaan wahaan jaa rahi hain”. This concept of “sab” is another issue plaguing our society.

    Well, the list goes on. I am not against hiring nannies for kids. I myself have one. But what I’ve seen around me ever since I moved back to lahore is disgusting. Thank you Kiran for penning it down so aptly.Recommend

  • Sarah Suhail

    Some comments here are missing the point. Its not about East vs West or even rich vs poor. It’s about the basic lack of time spent by mothers with their young children which will inevitably affect the kind of adults they’ll become and the change in society it will cause. Well written and super important topic. Recommend

  • Mehreen

    Replying to your comment. I live abroad too and am a mother of four. Here the author basically tries to portray the image of elite classes in Pakistan. But I have seen these same things happening in the middle classes too. Even if they are not able to afford an aaya for their child they still somehow do. All this culture of ayas and nannies is adopted from the west. It’s not about people in the west do because that is their culture. But it’s not ours. West has a lot of bad habits worse than we could imagine ever. In Pakistan not only you have a maid for the kids but you have a maid basically for everything. I’ve seen it in my relatives too. The only thing the woman over there complain about is lazy maids. So if the maids are lazy them what are they. Not taking care of your own house or kids what is that then. People living in abroad tend to do all the chores here themselves. I agree with author on this topic. First we adopt everything from the west and then complain about then too. How [email protected]: Recommend

  • TZ

    In order to support my argument against the posted blog, let me start by saying dat my child is exactly 3 yr old n goes to the city’s most saught after preschool. My reason for mentioning this fact to explain that ive attended birthday parties for 3 yr olds almost every weekend since the term started and some in the summer. These birthdays were not only extremely fancy arrangement with the amounts spent on the parties in direct competition to the budget of a big wedding but also these birthdays were attended by our city’s ‘so-called’ elite class. Although, i will not deny the presence of maids in these birthdays but would very safely say that the writer has either been unfortunate to attend the very rare ‘maid dominant’ birthday or has merely decided to stretch the truth… A little too far. First of all, these so called ‘brand concious’ mothers wouldnt leave their 3 yr old unsupervised and leave da ‘activity’ benue to sit n chat in their ‘drawing rooms’ while balancing their designer bags, let me explain that these mothers will b often found carrying their designer bags in one hand and holding or carrying their child in the other, or will b carefully keeping an eye out on their children while ‘gossiping’ about their maids. These famcy birthday parties are usually setups where there are no separate ‘drawing rooms’ to gossip… Da children will probably b on the rides whr da maids will b supervising da or watching them to make sure dat other ‘3 yr olds’ do not hit their babies… The mothers who are worried about getting their children in da ‘top’ schools will also ensure that their child isnt being ‘raised’ by these maids but is still looked after all the time. Please stop over exaggerating details as we still have support systems in terms of extended families and domestic help to ‘support’ us in raising our kids. While the west is solely dependent on nannies and daycares, please get ur facts right and stop basing and forming opinions by isolated events dat may b far from da normal practice.Recommend

  • Mahira

    To the lady anonymous, for someone who had worked in child protection in Pakistan let me assure you abuse is rampant in Pakistan, the problem is it goes unreported and falls of the radar. Pick up any data from any newspaper and review the trend – it is growing significantly every year. Secondly neglect is a bigger crime than abuse which people don’t even know while they are engaging in Pakistan. So let’s not start that.
    Thirdly concept of naughty corner lays more harm than benefit – it has been debunked by child practitioners and experts. Finally the nanny culture you refer to represents 1-2% of rich urban class in developed countries. Middle class cannot afford such care because laws like minimum wage and respect for all classes prevents exploitation of labor let alone minors.Recommend

  • Dr Amerah Hashmi

    Well observed and well narrated. One of the very important factor is discussed which can possibly cause negligent nausiance in emotional development of the child and does have an adverse impact on personality build up later on in adult life. But to add on, this represents hardly a few percentage of our society who can and probably have to follow the trend most likely due to peer pressure. Therefore , I believe we still have hope in our country where larger percentage of kids are brought up under love, care and affection from the most essential bond – Mother and child. Recommend

  • Saad Jilani

    The heading of the article is extremely misleading, since this sort of behavior is displayed only by a small fraction of the Pakistani population.

    Secondly, the author has written this piece in such a manner as if this issue is prevalent in Pakistan only. Middle Eastern kids are exposed to even worse sort of up bringing where usually the maids are from different countries (read Philippines, Bangladesh etc.), hence the kids are brought up in a different culture altogether. Recommend

  • Sara

    @Unknown:
    Thanks for making it obvious that instead of contemplating the idea, you’re out to get the write with insufficient evidence to back your own critique. She is absolutely correct about the way maids take care of rich kids growing up and these maids are especially underaged in order to be easily controlled and abused by their employers (notice: a kid looking after a kid…when the kid should actually be in school getting education instead of babysitting). And mothers who give birth to these children are in my opinion more uneducated than most mothers.Recommend

  • Amna Najeeb

    I agree with what is written, but only to some extent. First of all, all this has come from west, people are trying to ‘act’ modern and advance that’s why they’re adapting these things. Secondly, this is the story of only 20% pakistanis. Not everyone can afford all these maids and ayaas to look after their children. And then there are mothers like me, who want to do each and everything for their children themselves. Pakistani mothers are really responsible, educated and much more tactful than what you have portrayed here. Perhaps you came across such mothers only.Recommend

  • Dr. DSN

    Well written but a very biased and superficially perceived opinion. Elite class or middle class… Having a nanny or a maid is does not reflect on a lack of interest on the mothers’ side. All Pakistani mothers do a pretty good job at raising their children who in turn grow up to be quite successful in life in general..The author has exaggerated it to the point where she makes all the mommies seem indifferent and the children like hopeless cases who are headed towards ruin
    . Fact Is , the west produces much more messed up, bratty and ill mannered children compared to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Omer

    @Unknown:

    Child abuse also happens in Pakistan, physical- but its never caught on camera, hence never gains your attention. The author how ever has beautifully described that child abuse in Pakistan is not only physical, but also at the level of their soul, psychology and personality, which goes a long way. This is the reason why Pakistan is what it is today!Recommend

  • kiran

    True indeed but the trend of kids being raised by the maids, while the mothers stays uninterrupted came to Pakistan from the West.Recommend

  • http://trango.co/top-5-bluearea-islamabad-memes/ Editor at Trango

    Sounds like the author was raised alongside Pakistan’s most brutally honest investor!Recommend

  • Mustafa M.

    Dr. Zafar laid it out how it is
    This illiterate and in most cases corrupt elites are going to learn the hard way when their offspring is going to have commitment issues later in their livesRecommend

  • Tabs

    The scenario discussed in the blog definitely leads nowhere but towards a disasterous future of the nation, its a matter of great concern and the writer should get thumbs up on highlighting the so called ELITES of our society!!!Recommend

  • m.lak

    Commendable article, especially since it’s coming from someone wbo is bound to know more than just a thing or two about children and their well-being.
    A criticism, however: what about the fathers? Are these undertones of misogyny in the picture you have painted here? Recommend

  • http://www.behance.net/faysalim Faysal I. Malik

    This reminds me of my close relative, whose 5 children (a boy and rest girls – aged currently from 11 month to 7 years.+ all from second marriage ) living in a village very near to Lahore.
    kids are ruthlessly screaming and snatching while mom doesn’t care what are they doing, having 4 maids. in a house of a couple of kanal, father’s inherited with handfull of ‘qillay’ and been active in political supporter-ship of the ruling party..

    am sure the boy (currently 4 yrs of age) will be that village’s future big-fish .. the kid have a personality of hitting and snatching… and speaking Punjabi (with some abuse every now and then)

    school going kids went to ‘Beaconhouse School System’ if am not wrong including the boy.

    Useless…Recommend

  • Nomad

    The article is interesting. I would contend though that the young village girls who should be having a childhood of their own and going to school instead of catering to the needs of rich kids are facing utter neglect and abuse with no relief or help in sight.Recommend

  • Nomad

    ‘Nation’ after all includes not only the rich and the powerful but the vast majority of the disenfranchised and poor as well. They are being raised in conditions that defy any vestige of humanity. Why do we acquire blinkers when it comes to the lives and fortunes of those who are not fortunate enough to be of the landed elite. If those who can care for but choose to neglect their kids, I feel bad for the kids. But I worry more over the fate of those who cannot take care of their kids even if they want to. As both the parents do menial jobs and are not there when their kids play truant or worse. Those who have no relief from state or society and are shunned – their lives, hopes and aspirations not even deemed worthy of discussion. Recommend

  • MH

    Similar situations occur in the elite class of USA as well. Many children from affluent families are raised by their nannies while their mothers either work or choose other ways to spend time. Those nannies are not always well-educated and are typically immigrants with limited English skills. Those American children also run to their maids to be comforted, not their mothers. I don’t think this situation is unique to Pakistan- I believe it occurs among the elite in every country. Recommend

  • SA

    Love the article. Living in the west I agree that we use daycares, but the caregivers are properly certified and are scared of the strict actions taken against them if any complaint comes forward. I also say maids n aayaas are fine till you take time out n constantly monitor them. They can help u with managing the baby but shouldnt be the primary caregivers, which in most cases is exactly like that. This party was definitely one in a million.Recommend

  • Maha

    Would have to agree with Abubakr here. Pakistan is not a nation raised by ‘ayas’ and ‘maids’. You cannot generalize on such a small sample size. The elite wouldn’t make more than 5% of Pakistan’s population. The rest of the nation is raised amidst a lot of interference from extended relatives; dadi, nani, phuppi, mami, khala etc etc. While good things may come out of joint family systems, disciplining a child and having the final say is a major problem for parents in such an environment. Recommend

  • jibby

    What non sense..i am Not sure what elitist parties you’ve attended in Australia. But the culture of leaving children with babysitters while parents go out for a date, parties, etc. is very common in all socioeconomic classes. The elite class in western countries do have maids and helpers who look after children as well. Yes! They have cooks, butlers, gardners, drivers etc too! The model you described is not exclusive to Pakistani elite. Its just that its the only real elite class you found yourself mingling with. The chip on your shoulder is from the mere fact that this culture is non existent in Pakistani immigrants living overseas. You’ll be better served writing case reports. Good luck.Recommend

  • Mustafa Ibrahim

    I Agree Hole Heartedly ….. we r a hipocritical nation and we must strive for exellensce in all Ways .Good work author !! :PRecommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/laaleenspage Laaleen

    **Kiran, your blog post raised some interesting and valid points but I feel I should enlighten some of your commenters here.

    Unknown: “Is (the) nanny concept alien to (the) west according to the doctor?” Most people can’t afford full-time nannies in industrialized nations because they are paid high salaries. Even the affluent segment that employs fulltime help don’t have them working longer than, say, 40 hours a week since their definition of fulltime isn’t round-the-clock like ours.

    abubakar: Er these teenaged maids are given very low salaries in general. You don’t have to be a corrupt politician to pay them around Rs.10-15,000/month. Because of our low literacy rates and struggling economy, the term “elite class” tends to be loosely applied to define anyone who speaks a smattering of English with a passable income and who would be considered middle class (socially) or from the middle income earning bracket (economically) in most parts of the world.

    pj: The term is hypocrite, not “Hippocrates,” and your inference about political parties has nothing to do with this blog post.**Recommend

  • Ambreen

    Well the west is not much better off when it comes to 1:1 time and interacting with the kids… Their alternative to the aayas are day care and nurseries…. And unless they are outstanding, you will c the carers there not much older then the maids in pakistan, and about as much engrossed in the same areas of interest u mentioned above… The west however can b excused for its pressures on both parents to work… Recommend

  • Ramzia

    but dont you think its pretty much same abroad when mothers send their children to day care centres at a tender age of few months old…only difference is that those care takers are skilled and educated…but they are not a replacement of a motherRecommend

  • Kiran Zafar

    @Unknown:
    Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it. Regarding a few things that you pointed out:
    I was amazed at the maid’s familiarity with the ‘ English version ‘ of the naughty corner :)
    True, child abuse happens everywhere in the world but I am sure you will agree that it is reported more frequently in the West while majority of cases go unheard in our part of the world because of so many reasons.
    Yes, it’s true that there have been many cases where qualified nannies have physically and sexually abused the kids but there are far more cases where the perpetrator has been none other than the first or second degree relative of the child. If being a parent can’t suppress the bad human psych in some, how can you blame anything else. My article is not about what nannies do behind our back, rather, it focusses on what we are letting them do right before our own eyes. There is a lot more harm that can be done to little children other than physically abusing them.
    While I have seen parents leaving their kids in the care of nannies both here and abroad, yet I think hiring nannies by ‘stay at home parents’ is much more prevalent in our upper class and the western people are generally more vigilant in their selection of appropriate care for the kids. However, exceptions are always there. Recommend

  • Kiran Zafar

    Thanks for appreciating :)@unleashedleader: Recommend

  • Mariyam

    Great writing skills and good vocabulary. The observation is interesting as well. However, the content is super judgemental and unfair. What the author suggests is that most or all upper-middle class and elite of Pakistan make bad mothers or at least mothers who are not trustworthy for their child. They are negligent of their children and somehow are not building the Parent-Child gap which will of course create troubled teenagers. Well frankly I find this an extremely unfair portrayal of the young Pakistani mother.
    The child who ran to the aaya did Not choose the aaya Over the mother but just ran to her because in the plethora of ayyas and kids she was a familiar face. Had the mother been standing there and the child had chosen the nanny over her; that would have been another story. Allah has created the love between a mother and her child and it is not a weak bond. Its almost gentic this predisposition to love a mother like no one else. Had this not been true, most of the kids at this party should choose to leave with the ayyas when and if they are fired or change jobs. But it doesnt happen – these kids live in their homes with thier designer-bag-clad mums. I wonder why!?
    Also those of us who live outside of Pakistan and have to raise our kids without help – either out of necessity or choice – would also actually looooooove to have help around; especially on those horrid days when the day seems 24 hours too short or 24 hours too long.
    The issue of merit are the fact that these teenage girls probably never get a fair shot at education. The issue of concern is these atrociously expensive and obnoxiously over-done birthday parties (which by the way exist in the west too – what the adults wear to such a party is of no real consequene) in a country that does not have enough to provide its citizens the basic human neccessities (electricity, water, safety etc).
    It is just sad that we continue to choose not to focus on the REAL issues in our country but on trivialities such as how the female elite makes bad mothers because they have untrained help to take care of their kids. How do you think, may I ask, will the other 5 siblings in the non-certified teenage ayya’s home eat if she was not given this job by this bad mother?Recommend

  • Dr Ansari

    It’s true but I agree it’s only elite class. As far as cases of child abuse in west are concerned atleast these cases come to light from time to time. How many are suffering child abuse behind closed door in Asian countries who knows. And it’s not about the abuse of children these aayas are looking after, it’s also about abuse of these young girls . Recommend

  • Ayesha Samad

    A few questions. What were you doing at this birthday party? Did you attend it just so you could write this piece? If this scene is so different from yours, then why were you there? Or even accept the invitation to go.

    Also, I don’t think the Aitchison mother realizes that Aitchison has a large number of ‘middle class’ families kids who attend. It is not just a school for the elite. Either the mother herself is uneducated or has obviously not done her homework on the school where she wants her son to go to.

    While I have seen and observed maids playing a substantial role in a child’s upbringing, I find your article to have a crass and judgmental tone to it. Maybe next time it’s just better not to waste your time attending these birthday parties and write about something that you did enjoy and appreciate when you visited Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ayesha Samad

    I also have an issue with your article’s heading. Pakistan is not a nation raised by ‘maids’ and ‘ayas.’ If you happened to voluntarily go to a birthday party of a niche group, please do not generalize that to the entire country or sully the name of yours (or maybe what used to be yours) country.

    Please remember that this is a small, miniscule part of society and the majority of the population does not live with the same luxuries or environment.Recommend

  • MA

    @pj: Just thought I’d point it out. I guess you meant to say ‘hypocrite’ instead of Hippocrates, whose oath is to date taken by doctors as a promise to be sincere to their profession.

    As for the blog, it is very well written and I commend the author for bringing this issue into the limelight. Currently studying in the US, I was thinking about working mothers in this part of the world and how they rely upon day care centers as they return to work when their kids are still pretty young. Although this practice is also noticeable in Pakistan, I was thinking about how the child needs the mother’s attention, affection and care. However, women who are working have a different story.

    But the women in the Pakistani society that are not working but only talking about which lawn prints to buy, heavily rely upon their maids to take care of their kids. This is so unfortunate. It is not bad at all to have domestic help in the house to assist with various different chores, an incentive often cited by Pakistani women living abroad because they have to do all these chores themselves, but relying solely upon them is extremely unacceptable. At the same time, I find the way Pakistani women discuss the domestic help to be very appalling. Using terms such as, ‘nokarani,’ ‘ghareeb,’ and then treating them in inhumane ways in front of their little children. Social discussions revolve around who’s got the best ‘naukar’ and the problems they faced when ‘naukar bhaag gaya.’ Are you kidding me? What kind of a society are we creating?
    For one, they cannot function one day without them and on the other, they would humiliate them as well. Yes, there exist people that do not always work honestly, but what role can we play in that?
    I know the story of a girl, who worked in one of the posh areas in Lahore and she committed suicide because she would want to have all the dresses and things that her ‘malkin’ and her daughters had. Couldn’t they have showed off a little less?

    Our society would change the day we do things based upon their need and not upon showing off. Money or no money, the elite mentality needs to change!!!Recommend

  • Zahra Mirza

    Beautifully penned down. I think those who reside in Pakistan exploit the advantage of having maids. While degrading them they also rely onto them the most. Don’t even get me started on the treatment these teenaged maids get be it in a middle of shopping mall or in front of a house full of guests, this is sickening! Recommend

  • Maliha

    Please do not drag the whole nation in it as per the title.Recommend

  • Shahla

    It’s true a child maid should not be the primary care giver but leaving children with nannys/maid/childcare worker is a world over phenomenon. Agreed the western world has more checks and balances in their system but there is no replacement for a mother. The elite world over want exclusive schools for their children, Pakistanis are no exception to the rule. Recommend

  • Anonymous

    @Unknown:
    I agree, it actually is quite surprising to learn that nannies in Pakistan know about western concepts like the naughty corner, which is probably why the Dr mentioned it.
    But her article did not seem to mention physical abuse of children, rather it concentrated on the kind of indifference that makes a mother hand her child over to a woman she doesn’t respect at all. And to leave all of the most important lessons of morality and ethics in the hands of a “lower class” they themselves would never associate with is incredibly counterproductive and harmful for child development.

    She’s right. There’s a reason why Pakistani elite classes are raising monsters nowadays and it can be directly traced to indifferent parenting.Recommend

  • Izza

    Its wrong to stereotype! Balance is Key! There’s nothing wrong with having help for the child if you know clearly what your responsibilities are as a parent. Many mothers work, and its necessary to have help even in the working class. Its up to the parents to let their maids be the mothers to their children or only be there to lend a hand. Recommend

  • Sheze

    Yes the elite have maids in Pakistan but they are helpers not primary care givers. Labeling all is entirely wrong , it’s a personal choice.And please let’s not compare ourselves to the west where moms loose their sanity raising children!(child abuse rates being highest there)
    So the title should have been “Pakistan the privileged nation”Recommend

  • Zubeda khan

    Very well written , food for thought .

    Plus let me inform y guys , this maid culture is not only the part of elites they can be easily found in middle class too, I myself have kept one in for 3000 to 1000 rupee depending on their needs, at my home these maids were not allowed to touch my child but she was there to do other chors like cleaning and etc .
    Lol I’m not a politician nor I m a land mafia nor I’m a money launderer :)Recommend

  • Samiya

    Percentage of child abuse lately has fallen to minimal in Australia as compared to what we have in Pakistan.
    They make every visitor sign a child abuse undertaking in safeguard.
    Lets not debate about east and west dichotomy, look deeper into what and how the developed societies are organising towards infants, children, disabled and other weaker segments of society. And try to envisage where we are heading.
    One or two incidents dont make the trend.Recommend

  • Salina

    That’s not the point. The things written are true. It would not change anything if we start pointing out to what is wrong with the western or other societies. Take the comparison out of this article and you ll be able to see that the author has a point.
    This attitude of shifting blame on others is what our politicians do. When their mistakes are pointed out they commonly say “so n so is worse or so n so also does this” …Recommend

  • Suroor Rizvi

    Jeez, if u want to see a nation of kids brought up by maids look at Kuwait. Stop criticizing Pakistan for everything under the sun, it’s high time we own our country.Recommend

  • danish sulaiman

    seems like author is jealous of this elite class…or she was ignored by kitty party ladies..

    Yes..kids are being brought up by maids here…but mom is supervising them directly or indirectly..there were times when these moms were ayaas and they stopped caring about themselves but their spouse complained that they arent giving them enough time and response resulting in extra marital affair…so now they keep themselves updated and spend little money on ayas…dont worry moms are super smart and they can change their kids brain when to mingle with middle or low class and when to keep distance…Recommend

  • Amber Palla

    I would like to comment on what UNKOWN critic has commented questioning author for the situation in the west about nanny concept.

    This is a very typical attitude we as a nation is developing. If we are doing wrong and some one points it out, we automatically have to point fingers saying, ” That person is doing the same”.

    What many of us fail to understand is that identifying flaws and faults is the first step towards resolution. The author has very honestly and truly captured the scenario that is now very common and if we want to become a nation who is educated it’s high time we accept where we stand wrong or what can be done to overcome them. Recommend

  • Mr.J

    This article kept me thinking where we are heading… where our nation is heading but by this thought i am relieved that this is only 15%( Via Wikipedia) of our nation … Sister you need to research every class when you are addressing like “Pakistan a nation….”…. I hope you got my point.Recommend

  • ayesha

    yes,i agree with Dr.Kiran but there are lots of parents who have not ABANDONED their
    kids.I being a mother of two girls myself,have never had a maid.They are my kids thus my responsibility;same goes for my friends.Recommend

  • ysk

    Compare this to the Western elite who would send their kids to ordinary jobs so they don’t get sense of entitlement…..many big names can be quoted here but I can see there are people who are trying to justify this attitude in some of the comments above.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/drkiranzafar) Kiran Zafar

    @Unknown:
    Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it. Regarding a few things that you pointed out:
    Yes, I was amazed at the maid’s familiarity with the’ English version’ of the naughty corner :)
    Child abuse happens everywhere in the world but I am sure you will agree that it is reported more frequently in the West while majority of cases go unheard in our part of the world because of so many reasons.
    Yes, it’s true that there have been many cases where qualified nannies have physically and sexually abused the kids but there are far more cases where the perpetrator has been none other than the first or second degree relative of the child. If being a parent can’t suppress the bad human psych in some, how can we blame anything else. Having said that, my article is not about what nannies do behind our back, rather, it focusses on what we are letting them do right before our own eyes. There is a lot more harm that can be done to little children other than physically abusing them.
    While nannies are popular both here and abroad, yet I think hiring nannies by ‘stay at home ‘ parents is much more prevalent in Pakistan. Also, I think people over there are a little more vigilant when it comes to choosing someone for childcare.Recommend

  • Maryam M

    Having grown up out of Pakistan ALL my life and having seen this maid/aaya set up ALL my life in Pakistan..i can safely say even the middle class families hav always needed maids too. In the beginning, as a kid, i wud feel as if WE were the ones who werent rich enuf to hav a maid (i guess a complex) but as i grew older..my realization was something else.

    I still live outside Pakistan and go very regularly on holiday. I hav NOT let any maid or houseboy help me with my child at any point. I just couldnt. I mean..if we dont want these maids/help sit and eat with us..HOW do we want them to handle our children in eating/bathing/diaper changing/bottle washing etc?

    And yes, what irks me alot is..people bringing their maids ALONG to gatherings. People pay per head at events, who will pay for these maids too?! and plz, every1 has a budget coz u invite 10 families means 10 added maids means 10 more per heads to pay for, or maybe people in Pakistan r just richer than us to bother over such trivial stuff :) Allah aur de, Ameen!Recommend

  • Fareeha Cheema

    Very well written and has touched upon an issue which has gained more prevalence in the last 10 years. A generation of middle class to elites is being raised by ayas, and these are the kids (ruling class) who will decide which way our nation heads in 20 some years…… and that does scare me.Recommend

  • Unknown

    The issues that lie within our society cannot be tuned out if some other nation is making a ginger fools of themselves. This is no [email protected]: Recommend

  • Rabiya

    The author seems to have an obvious superiority complex over the caregivers, “they lacked basic manners,” yeah? Well, I bet you wouldn’t be able to hold a job very well at the age of 10. Just because you can get an article posted online to prove a reasonable issue, does not give you the right to put anyone down. I agree that birthday parties abroad are absolutely nothing like those in the high-class Pakistan, and much like you, I would like to raise my kids without a caregiver, but I do not think these young girls are at fault here. From low income families to being surrounded by so much extravagance, ever thought for a second how these girls feel? I lived in Pakistan for the first 10 years of my life, I never went back, and much of what I remember only consists of the caregivers, they are the kindest people and deserve much more respect than what you give them. Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/drkiranzafar) Kiran Zafar

    Thank you all for such an overwhelming response in the form of countless emails, tweets, comments and likes.

    I need to clarify one thing here. The original title suggested by myself was, ‘A Nation raised by maids’???? The edited version by Tribune has made it sound like a judgemental statement rather than a question that I wanted to pose to every educated parent in Pakistan to have a think if we were, inadvertently, on our way to creating a generation raised by incapable maids. I have very clearly targeted just the elite class in my blog. And even in the elite class,I know there are exceptions. It is very much apparent that I am not discussing about the working parents, single parents, or parents in crisis here. It is absolutely fine to use some help, however, we need to be a little more vigilant when we choose someone to look after our kids the way we act vigilant when it comes to choosing schools for them. I understand there are many lovely mums out there who are doing full justice to motherhood, however, the number of mums who are opting to do so despite affordability is getting decreased in my personal experience.

    I do not intend to start a competition between East and West here. I have just pointed out things for the betterment of our own kids. If we can learn something good from the West, whats the harm in it? While the number of reported cases of child abuse may be more in the western countries, the actual number is way more in countries like ours. Recommend

  • Uzma ahsan

    Here is another gift by people like u? Hw can u just generalize one of the inciidnets to the whole nation??? Wht abt those livng n workng abroad n bringing up their kids in day cares wid nannies n baby sitters!!!i m awrkng mom wid three kids n never did i leave my kids to maid, my son goes to aitchison n i can c more than half of the kids cmng frm middle class accompained all te times by their moms, i request you dr kiran to plz stp makng statements abt the whole nation,,,, ths sa shameful act on ur part!!! Ths elite kind of attitude i c in every other desi woman cmng frm abroad forgetting their own level!! Here family system is sooo strong tht we hardly c any proper day care, i wld like to knw hw did u bring up ur daughter???livng abroad, n again a request stop commentng abtbpakistani nation sincee uhav lft ths country,Recommend

  • Ifti

    Very well written. Do you realize that these kids will be the ones who would eventually be running the country in the next 30 years or so? can you imagine the impact that would have on the general public with the sort of a narcissistic brought up?!Recommend

  • Ibtesam Hasan Qaisrani

    What about the ancient practice in the Arab world of sending children to be looked after by nannies?Recommend

  • Ayesha

    A very typical “expat” approach, move abroad and begin bad mouthing your country. Its a free world so sure do what you please but get your facts straight. There’s a difference between wealthy and elite. The elite class abroad has the same prejudices. Thats why there are things like fraternities in colleges and universities. Thats the reason for the existence of world class finishing schools. The elite do not want to mix with the middle class and thats the same for the elite class all over the world. Their children are raised bu maids regardless of whether they are american, european, australian… If you want to argue a point, argue over the principle over raising your kids yourself don’t start badgering the cpuntry because what you pointed oit is not limited to Pakistan. Its indecent to cast stones at your own country just to glorify your opinion, which by the way, happens to be factually incorrect. Recommend

  • Samrah Azam

    The newspaper’s editor is also responsible for approving such title. As they might capture attention but on what cost? Damaging our nation’s mothers pride!Recommend

  • sarah

    fantastic and so accurate!Recommend

  • Bee

    Some excellent points, however you are talking not just of a small class, but social groups within that class.
    I don’t have kids but I know that when I do I will want to hire help not to have time for long naps or shopping for Prada bags, but because I intend to remain very serious about developing my career. Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/drkiranzafar) Kiran Zafar

    Thank you all for such an overwhelming response in the form of countless emails, tweets, comments and likes.
    I need to clarify one thing here. The original title suggested by myself was, ‘A Nation raised by maids’???? I didn’t suggest the word Pakistan in the beginning and there was a question mark in the end. I agree, the edited version by Tribune has made it sound like a judgemental statement rather than a question that I wanted to pose to every educated parent in Pakistan to have a think if we were, inadvertently, on our way to creating a generation raised by incapable maids. I have very clearly targeted just the elite class in my blog. And even in the elite class, I know there are exceptions. It is very much apparent that I am not discussing about the working parents, single parents, or parents in crisis here. It is just beyond the scope of a small blog to encompass everything. It is absolutely fine to use some help, however, I think we need to be a little more vigilant when we choose someone to look after our kids the way we act vigilant when it comes to choosing schools for them. I understand there are many lovely mums out there who are doing full justice to motherhood, however, the number of mums who are opting to do so despite affordability is getting decreased in my personal experience. And the maid culture is becoming increasingly popular in the middle class as well. Yes, the poor comprise a large proportion of our population but do you think the poor kids are being ‘raised’ there? Sadly, the poor kids are just ‘growing up’. And the fate of majority over there is often decided by the ruling elite minority, unfortunately
    I do not intend to start a competition between East and West here. I have just pointed out things for the betterment of our own kids. If we can learn something good from the West, whats the harm in it? While the number of reported cases of child abuse may be more in the western countries, the bitter fact is the actual number is way more in countries like ours. Recommend

  • Lauren

    I totally disagree because I see this situation in every country
    Even happening in the royals
    Prince Charles got his own nanny back for his son to monitor other nannies
    It is wrong to stick out a finger and point in one direction
    I have seen it and experienced same thing in Australia but May be the article is written by someone who has moved in elite class in other countries like U.S
    Australia, U.A.E, Canada Recommend

  • ME

    Since you were invited to this birthday extravaganza I am assuming you belong to the same elitist class. I am sure if you were here;you would do the same! That’s the issue with you people returning home and being so critical of our lifestyle. People in the west particularly Desis keep nannies, send their kids to day care facilities only in the name of pursuit ing a career which they can easily hold back for a couple of years. We don’t judge you guys because we are happy in our lives and seriously we don’t have the time!

    STOP GENERALIZING!
    STOP BEING JEALOUS!

    In our lifestyle we need help! We live here with families and our homes are open to everybody even on a weekday as majority of them are family homes. I interact with all classes and you would surprised to see the most concious mothers from the educated upper or middle class than from the lower class. Recommend

  • Adnan

    Article is good but how do you equate 5% elite with 95% non elites? 5% formula can’t be applied to whole nation. Even within the 5% of elite mothers there are definitely a % who won’t give the responsibility wholy to Aya’s but occassional. It means may be 2 to 3 % are raised by Aya’s.
    I would seriously suggest to change the title to elites only……..!!!Recommend

  • jatoi

    Why do we all are calling them the elite class?? Most of them are the people who are,and have been looting our country right royally.they assume they are providing their children” the best”where as this is the curse of the innocent people of Pakistan following them.having an aaya, means having a helping hand, not a hand to take charge of all your responsiblety.Recommend

  • Toxic

    The title of the article is utterly wrong, because this superior class is minority in Pakistan. Secondly the writer clearly trying to compare maids versus aya via western concept which is also not true. Last but not least the treatment with Ayaas are still better in Pakistan in comparison to the Middle East, where they are Slaves.Recommend

  • shamim zafar

    very well written .Recommend

  • nabu

    @abubakar:

    No. There exist good rich people as well. Hazrat Uthman RA, the 3rd rightly guided caliph was extremely wealthy, and a better human being than you or I could hope to be. How about we be a little less judgemental?Recommend

  • Fuad

    very well written , and …

    @ first commentator and @the author : kindly do not project particular instances of observations pertaining to a certain strata of population over the entire population,
    agree that many ppl, not only elite class, but also wanna bees from middle and lower middle class, are actually hypocrites. not valid for pakistan only, but in most parts of the world
    and one commentator said that these aayas / maids are the reason behind kids growing up and behaving like untamed, then please mind it. not only that parents should play their roles in grooming their own kids, but also they should behave like good humans, and assume responsibility for those poor aayaas (who usually are young kids), thier kids (if they are adult aayaas) etc so that they could also learn and enjoy better living instead of being treated and tortured like slaves. infact, in islam, there are so so so many guidelines and instructions regarding good behavior and support towards slaves.
    when we will go under this earth, burried under tons of sand, we all would be equal.
    Recommend