BENGALURU: Dr B R Ambedkar fought for equality. But his jayanti also marks discrimination for a large section of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) pourakarmikas.
The civic body is giving a bonus of Rs 19,000 to permanent D group employees including pourakarmikas to mark Ambedkar jayanti. But contract pourakarmikas who do similar works will get nothing on the occasion.
A BBMP order said the bonus will be paid to permanent pourakarmikas, gangmen, gardeners and other D group employees who are permanent workers.
BBMP has over 30,000 pourakarmikas of whom only around 4,000 are permanent staff.
The order mentions that the bonus should be credited to the accounts of permanent pourakarmikas by zonal commissioners. It says an additional Rs 2,500 should be given to these pourakarmikas for their children.
Narasimha, a pourakarmika and Gangmen Association President, said, “For the last 10 years, we have been getting a bonus on Ambedkar Jayanti. Last year, it was Rs 17,000 along with Rs 2,500 for our children,” he said.
BBMP sources said last year there was a proposal to give Rs 5,000 to contract workers, but it was not sanctioned as it requires more funds. “We know it is discrimination, but it should come from the state government or senior officials,” said a BBMP official.
The discrimination is also seen in salaries. Permanent staff are paid Rs 25,000-Rs 34,000 monthly based on seniority, while contract staff get Rs 7,000.
“Contract or permanent, the pourakarmikas sweep roads and collect waste. But one section gets Rs 7,000 and the other gets Rs 34,000 for doing the same job. This is inhuman and discrimination,” said a contract pourakarmika.