PDCS writes: Star of Mysore reports on yet another threat by the Pourakarmikas of Mysore City Corporation: that they will keep off work during Dasara, if their demands aren’t met.
So what do they seek: regularisation of service, scrapping contract system in garbage collection and providing employee benefits similar to those of State Government employees.
Now we could talk until cows come home on the race to become government employees and enjoy the benefits. We could discuss the (mainly untouchable) social groups from which these workers come from. But I want to pose a different question: When shall they be heard? That is, when do the Pourakarmikas hold some leverage to make themselves heard? Obviously, during Dasara, one can not have no garbage collection.
Does that work though? It didn’t last year, when they did stage a protest but withdrew their threat when the district minister in charge made some promises. This time they don’t want to budge.
All this reminds of something a friend said recently: right now, perhaps a good and safe business in Mysore is to undertake to clean private office buildings. Given what has happened to Mysore, it isn’t easy to find inexpensive labor but the prospects are pretty good. Banks, corporations. even educational institutions and other such entities would like to outsource cleaning work, rather than employ attendars, peons and cleaning people. For some of us, this is already an everyday occurence: i.e., an employee of some cleaning service showing up to clean our offices.
While I don’t like to be in the ‘how to become an entrepreneur’ advise business, here is thought, though. Sure, a government job, with benefits, is quite tempting. But how about utlizing some opportunities that are available. I do not want to suggest that Pourakarmikas should stay in the business of cleaning, given the caste angle here. They ought to be able to do whatever they choose to do. And I do hope that their grievances are addressed by the government. But as we all know, some minister will make a vague promise and not much will come out of it.
If they shall not be heard, what should they do to make themselves heard?