HAT guides seek hike in salariesUpdated: Nov 15, 2019 21:42 IST
LUCKNOW: As many as 84 guides of the Hussainabad and Allied Trust (HAT) have approached the state government demanding a hike in their salaries, which they say, is even less than the prescribed minimum wage limit.
Some of them say they will also seek the chief minister’s intervention over the issue.
“Approaching Yogi ji seems the only way out as the officers concerned seem least bothered about our long pending demands. At present, we are getting just Rs 4,500 a month, which is around Rs 150 a day – even lower than the prescribed minimum wage limit,” says Athar Hussain, one of the oldest guides who will be completing 20 years of service on August 23, 2020.
Athar, who is in his late fifties, has a family of nine, including six daughters, a son and wife. “Even daily wagers get more than us. In such a petty amount, it’s next to impossible to lead a normal life,” he adds.
“Till 2017, we were getting around Rs 6,000. But the amount was slashed to Rs 4,500 by the trust without citing a proper reason,” alleges Asif Hussain, another guide.
The situation is no better for the other guides, who are drawing the same amount.
Currently, there are 84 guides who are appointed on the post of ‘sipahi’ and are on the rolls of the trust that was formed by Mohammad Ali Shah, the third King of Awadh in 1839.
The district magistrate is the custodian of the trust and additional district magistrate (west) the secretary.
Officials associated with HAT too admitted the fact that guides, appointed on the post of ‘sipahi’, get a meagre pay.
“We submitted several proposals to ADM (west) and DM, but to no avail. Almost a fortnight back, we had forwarded a fresh proposal but nothing happened. In the fresh proposal, we had proposed a salary of Rs 10,000 at least to these people, which is a respectable amount,” says an official with HAT.
Officials said apart from their regular salary of Rs 4,500, these guides earn around Rs 200-300 in a day. But still the amount is not enough for a decent life.
S Mohammed Haider, a corporate lawyer and a social activist who had written to the DM on behalf of guides, demanding hike in their salaries says: “Their pay scales, which have not been revised for a long time need immediate revision.”
The activist said the demands made by the employees were genuine. “The constitutional mandate of ‘equal pay for equal work’ needs to be applied for the payment of wages to these employees, many of whom get monthly wages ranging between Rs 3000 and Rs 6,000, which is lesser than the prescribed minimum wages,” he adds.
Santosh Kumar Vaish, ADM (west), secretary of HAT says, “Though they get Rs 4,500 from the trust, they earn a handsome amount from guiding which they do as a part-time job. We don’t think that their salary structure needs any revision. But still, we can take up the issue with the DM. If he gives the nod, their salary structure would be revised.”
‘JUST RS 4,500 A MONTH’
“At present, we are getting just Rs 4,500 a month, which is around Rs 150 a day – even lower than the prescribed minimum wage limit,” says Athar Hussain, one of the oldest guides.
“In the fresh proposal, we proposed a salary of Rs 10,000 at least to these people, which is a respectable amount,” says an official with HAT.