Haryana Roadways’ 1st woman conductor loses job after employees call off strike
Rewari resident Sharmila, 32, a differently abled mother of two daughters, was given a three-month contractual job as a bus conductor by the Haryana government when the state’s public transport service was paralysed due to the strike by roadways’ employees since October 16.Updated: Nov 05, 2018 16:05 IST
The first-ever woman conductor employed by the Haryana Roadways has lost her job after roadways employees called off their 18-day strike and joined duty.
Rewari resident Sharmila, 32, a differently abled mother of two daughters, was given a three-month contractual job by the government when the state’s public transport service was paralysed due to the strike.
However, Sharmila was sacked from her job on Sunday, a day after the striking employees returned to work.
“The government has ruined my Diwali. I was hoping to get a permanent job since the government talks about Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. Two more women joined as conductors in roadways after me. The government could have made an exception and saved the jobs of three of us. But it did not even let us work for three months,” said Sharmila, who suffers 40% disability in one of her legs.
“We helped the government in their time of crisis. But the government paid no heed to crisis in our lives and fired us in the blink of an eye,” she added.
Sharmila said she comes from a poor background and had been searching for a job for the past eight years to support her family.
“When I saw a vacancy here, I applied and got the job. I had learnt the work and was able to do it without any problem. The passengers were so helpful and warm to me. I thought I could secure the future of my family. But now everything looks shattered,” she said.
Despite the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) being in force, the roadways employees had been on strike since October 16 against the government’s move to induct 700 private buses, which they alleged was a move towards privatisation of the department to benefit a few chosen ones.
The Rewari depot has 130 roadways buses. During the strike, the depot hired 105 drivers and 130 conductors, all of whom have been sacked after the protesting employees joined.
“This was what we feared the most. We did not stand in long queues since midnight so we could be fired like this,” said Rajesh Kumar, another conductor who lost job.
Rewari depot general manager Balwant Singh maintained it was government’s decision to replace the temporary staff as the regular staff joined duty after calling off the strike.
“They (new staff) were hired on contractual basis and policy of their employment was made clear before joining,” he said.
At many other places in the state, sacked employees staged dharnas and protested against the government for firing them.
In Bahadurgarh, some protesters said they had quit their regular jobs to apply for roadways as it mentioned a possible permanent job after three months.
But they did not let us work for even a week. Now we are completely jobless,” said Rahul Singh.
First Published: Nov 05, 2018 16:04 IST