Rajesh Joseph

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Livelihoods
  • Addressing the Issues of Urban Informal Sector Workers


Rajesh has more than 14 years of experience in the field of urban poverty dealing with issues of unorganised labour, financial inclusion, social security, migration, job placement, training and skill enhancement in the informal sector of the economy.

He was previously associated with MAYA in their livelihood initiative, initiating Self Help Groups, Cooperatives, and Workers’ Collectives and was instrumental in starting LabourNet- a programme to address the issues of Urban Informal Sector workers.

He has completed his MA in Economics followed by an MPhil in Manpower Economics from Bangalore University.


Certificate Courses

Recent work:

From Servant’ to Worker’: The Formalisation’ of Domestic Work in Bangalore

The focus of the research is the work and lives of Domestic workers’ (henceforth, DW) in Bangalore, especially their struggles to form collectives as part of their attempt to transform their subjectivities from servant’ to worker’, and improve their life and work situations. 

Domestic work is precarious work constituting a large part of India’s informal economy. It exists within a political-economic context signaled by rising incomes of urban middle and upper classes and the existence of a steady supply of working-class women (from mostly stigmatised castes but across all religions) ready for domestic work. It is also enabled by a cultural-ideological context signaled by the preference to engage DWs as a normalised cultural marker for upward mobility.

Our research demonstrates the struggles of DWs, the dilemmas and obstacles they negotiate for their empowerment. It focuses on the collective actions of DWs in their workplaces, their families and neighborhoods, and within unions and labour-NGOs engaged in organising DWs for formalisation” of work, demands for a decent’ wage and work conditions, and innovations in the form and content of their collective rights. 

Read more-Article on EPW

Domestic Work is Work: An illustrated booklet 

A summary of our research can be found in the form of three main demands as illustrated in the four-page pamphlet.


Domestic Work is Work: An interactive session 

On International Domestic Workers’ Day (16th June, 2020), Rajesh Joseph was joined by Geetha Menon (Stree Jagruti Samiti), Usha Ravikumar (FEDINA), and Balmurli Natarajan (Visiting Faculty, Azim Premji University) to discuss various issues regarding domestic workers’ rights and dignity of labour.