KOCHI: It seems the state government, already under flak from the High Court for giving priority to Women’s Wall when the state is striving to recover from the devastation caused by the flood, is pressurising the employees to ensure maximum participation in the wall. According to employees affiliated to opposition parties, the members of the pro-LDF employees’ unions have adopted a carrot-and-stick policy to intimidate the employees.
The panchayat deputy director of Kollam district has issued a circular, a copy of which is with Express, directing all panchayat secretaries to convene a meeting of all ICDS supervisors, Kudumbashree workers, Anganwadi helpers, Literacy Mission preraks, SC/ST promoters, National Savings Scheme agents, Area Development Societies (ADS) and Community Development Societies (CDS) to ensure the participation of all members in the women’s wall. The circular says it has been issued on the direction from Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma. According to Opposition parties, similar circular has been issued in all districts.
The circular directs the panchayat secretaries to convene meeting of these workers at the ward level on Saturday and give publicity to the programme by putting up banners. The list of members participating in the wall should be prepared and a copy of the same should be handed over to the secretaries. On Sunday and Monday the secretaries should conduct squad works at the ward level. The ward-level mobilisation should be coordinated by assistant secretaries and the secretaries should monitor the activities, the circular said.
“The LDF is using the government machinery to organise a political programme. Dragging the government employees into a political programme will divide the employees and create animosity among them. Though many employees are not ready to participate in the programme, the government has appointed them as organisers which amounts to an intrusion into their freedom. We will protest against the move,” said NGO Association state general secretary E N Harshakumar.
“The government has used the secretaries of panchayats situated along the National Highway to mobilise the workers. The government machinery is being misused. The leaders of pro-LDF employees’ unions like the KSTA have volunteered to pressurise employees to participate in the women’s wall,” said NGO Association former general secretary K V Murali.