Mid-day meal cooks staged a protest outside block development and panchayat officer on Friday in the wake of alleged inaction of education department officials on their complaint about alleged harassment of one of their women colleagues by a district village sarpanch.
The protesters, who rallied under the banner of Democratic Mid-day Meal Cooks Front, alleged that Raisal sarpanch Ram Singh had threatened mid-day meal cook Amarjit Kaur working in the village primary school of dire consequences if she did not leave the job.
Union president Harjinder Kaur said that the sarpanch had been "mentally harassing" the woman cook by pressuring her to leave the job she was handling for some months.
Kaur claimed that the village head had recruited another cook in Amarjit's place and restricted the latter's entry in the school.
As per the rules, the union leader maintained, the sarpanch had no right to ask the cook to leave school without prior permission of the district education officer and other officials of Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan.
"Despite several request, the BDPO concerned has failed to take action against the sarpanch. We will launch a massive protest if no action was taken against the sarpanch," Harjinder Kaur said.
The protesters later handed over a memorandum on their demands to BDPO officials.
The cooks are also demanding hike in salaries on par with skilled workers, implementation of recent hike of Rs. 200 from December 2011, regularisation of jobs, life insurance of minimum Rs. 2 lakh, inflation allowance, proper kitchen facilities and medical allowance in case of accident during duty hours etc.