BANGALORE: The election for the post of the president of Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP), 97-year-old representative body of Kannada speaking people, is being held today.
However, the Parishat has not recruited employees in the last 22 years. At present, there are only 16 employees as against the required 80. In 1990, it had 10,000 members and there were 65 employees. Today, there are 1.4 lakh members and there are only 16 employees on rolls, apart from 24 on daily wage basis.
In the last 21 years, 49 employees have retired. According to sources, in another two years, five of the present 16 will retire impacting the Parishat’s goals ‘adversely’. “The government is readily agreeing to the projects of the Parishat by granting huge funds every year. However, it is not able to carry out the project due to shortage of employees,” they said.
There are 14 divisions in the Parishat including library, B M Sri Printing Press and research wing. With the increase in the number of members, the workload on the existing employees has multiplied. Their condition becomes worse during the annual Sahitya Sammelanas. They have to camp at different places where the meets are held, sources said.
Reason for Shortage
In 1995, the state government had set up a committee under the leadership of veteran theatre person C G Krishnaswamy to look into the recruitment process of organisations like the Sahitya Parishat. The committee had suggested the government that there was no need to bring the employees at organisations like the KSP under government grants. All such organisations were later asked to hire daily wage employees and pay their salaries from the annual grants.
Based on the report the government passed an order. The order must be changed if employees were to be recruited for KSP.
The government has not increased the retirement age for the Parishat staff and as a result, KSP lost its skilled employees.
If the employees have to be recruited the ‘Cadre and Recruitment Rules’ have to be framed. In 1996, the government had given a year’s time for KSP to frame ‘Cadre and Recruitment Rules’. But no effort was made by KSP to frame it.
When Express sought the opinion of Pundalik Halambi, one of the candidates for the post of the Parishat’s president, he said, “Crores of rupees are granted to the Parishat every year, but it is not being used due to shortage of employees.”
Prof Chandrashekar Patil (Champa), another candidate said, “Staff shortage is a huge problem and is hindering the development of the Parishat. The government policy must facilitate recruitment.”