NAGAPATTINAM: Thalaignayiru town panchayat in the district, which topped among local bodies for cleanliness in the Swachh Survekshan 2022 rankings, has in a reciprocal gesture opened a retiring room for its sanitation workers at a cost of Rs 3.9 lakh.
A 50-year-old sanitation worker, R Marimuthu, inaugurated the building in the presence of District Collector A Arun Thamburaj on Saturday. According to sources, State Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu had written to collectors in June about the hardships endured by sanitation workers at work and the need to consider a room for them to relax, dine and rejuvenate themselves.
Thalaignayiru town panchayat, which ranked first in the category of local bodies with a population of less than 15,000 in Swachh Survekshan 2022, acted on it immediately and constructed the retiring room for sanitation workers. "We have used the space below the overhead tank next to the office to construct a new room for our sanitation workers.
Not just for eating and relaxing, our workers can also use it for play and learning skills to improve their livelihood," said EO K Kuhan, under whose tenure the town panchayat has earned awards four times. The construction began in September after approval.
The retiring room is furnished. It has shelves, a dining table, dozens of chairs, a potable water supply and an electric kettle. The 38 sanitation workers, of whom six of them have had their jobs regularised, are also provided with game boards like carrom to play at leisure. There is also a sewing machine for workers to learn to tailor.
In the new retiring room opened by Thalainayar town panchayat for its sanitary workers, they can play games for leisure, learn new skills & improve their livelihoods— Antony Fernando (@AntoWrites) October 30, 2022
The building built at Rs. 3.9 lakhs has all basic amenities, making workers happy@NewIndianXpress @xpresstn pic.twitter.com/vQ0XY4l0wD
They are also taught to knit chairs and make paper bags. Appreciating the move, S Akila, a 47-year-old worker, said, "I have been working for over 20 years. We had struggled a lot in the past, especially during rainy days, without even a place to sit.
Now we have a place where we would be treated in a dignified way." Assistant Director for Town Panchayats G Kanagaraj and Thalaignayiru town panchayat chairperson P Senthamizhselvi were present. The collector said, "Thalaignayiru town panchayat's initiative is novel and commendable. It is also recommended for other town panchayats and municipalities to follow."