Maids gather in Kallang and play volleyball to de-stress, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Maids gather in Kallang and play volleyball to de-stress

After a high-intensity volleyball game at a field in Kallang, Indian maid Ramdinpuii usually heads back to her employers’ home in high spirits.

“They're always surprised to see me arriving all sweaty, wearing T-shirt and shorts,” said the 25-year-old.

“I love volleyball outings because they take my mind of domestic chores. They help me relax and feel bright.”

Ms Ramdinpuii, from Aizawl in the north-east Indian state of Mizoram, has been playing volleyball since her school days.

“I played and won several awards representing both my school and my hometown,” she said.

To support her family, she started working full-time at age 18, including a stint as a hotel assistant in Chennai.

She moved to Singapore in 2021 and currently works for a migrant family from Uttar Pradesh.

Ms Ramdinpuii is among several young women from India’s north-eastern region who have formed a team, bridging cultures and participating in sports events with women from the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries.

Their sporting pursuits were showcased at an last month's On Sundays, We Play exhibition at UltraSuperNew Gallery in Tyrwhitt Road. The exhibition celebrates the multifaceted identities and talents of Singapore’s migrant domestic workers.

Sports organiser Hazel Castialo, a 46-year-old maid here, said: “Playing volleyball provides these women with an outlet of happiness and freedom amid work and personal challenges.”

Professor Velayutham told weekly English-language Indian newspaper Tabla that such exhibitions play a role in changing the perception of these women as mere workers to take care of household chores.

“Often in our society, maids are expected to function in the background. Initiatives such as this help bring out the full dimension of these women,” he said.