BENGALURU: While foreign jaunts of our legislators frequently hog the headlines for wrong reasons, the Municipal Administration Department is facing a strange predicament in its programme to send pourakarmikas on a study tour to Singapore as women workers are reluctant. Their reluctance is attributed to lack of exposure to the outside world.
Women pourakarmikas constitute more than 75 percent of the workforce in urban local bodies but not even 10 percent of them showed any interest to go on the trip to Singapore to understand the modern scientific means of solid waste management in the tiny island nation.
Only three women pourakarmikas will board the flight in the first batch of 40 civic workers who are leaving for Singapore on a five-day tour, starting July 4. They include Srirangapatna Town Municipal Council environment engineer Ashwini B J; civic workers Savithri Gutti, Alnavar Town Panchayat, Dharwad district; and Vijayalakshmi, Mangaluru City Corporation.
Minister for Municipal Administration Eshwar Khandre attributed this to the disinterest from rural women civic workers who have no exposure to the outside world. “Not a single woman worker in the seven urban local bodies has shown interest to go on the tour. However, the department is trying to motivate them,” he said.“Most of the pourakarmias do not have passports and declined to embark on a foreign tour. We are making all efforts to ensure adequate women representation in the next batch. Only permanent workers aged between 30 and 55 years have been selected for the tour, the minister said.
The department has tied up with MSIL for the study tour arrangements, including travel and accommodation. The approximate expenditure on each worker is around `75,000, including `5,000 pocket money. Workers will study civic cleanliness and use of modern equipment in manhole cleaning system. They will be provided orientation on collection and transportation methods, segregation of waste, recycling and handling sanitation.