Pourakarmikas feel recognised; but still have plethora of complaints

Pourakarmikas feel recognised; but still have plethora of complaints

They have to bribe to receive increments and other benefits

 Bannari Ranga was one among the pourakarmikas felicitated for their service to the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) at ‘Pourakarmika Day’ celebrations held at Exhibition grounds here on Sunday. Although he has retired from service three months ago, after more than 30 years of service, he works as a coolie to eke out his living.

Amaase, a woman responsible for keeping the streets clean, was happy that she received some recognition for her service at least in the fag end of her service. She has two  two months left for her retirement, yet she complains about various hazards the fraternity  has to face on job. Although she admits that there are a few hurdles in payment of salaries, she refuses to dwell into the details.

There are 735 pourakarmikas, who are directly employed by the MCC, said Dr Nagaraj, health officer. About 1,600 pourakarmikas are employed by private firms.
Speaking about the health checkup camp organised on account of pourakarmika day, Dr Nagaraj said such camps were necessary for pourakarmikas due to their work nature.


He said pourakarmikas are prone to liver disorders. “A majority of pourakarmikas are chronic alcoholics,” he said.

Responding to a question, he opined that they are probably prone to drinking to reduce the effect of the stench emanating from drains and heaps of garbage that they have to clean regularly. “This exposes them to liver disorders like Hepatitis B,” he said.

He added that awareness among pourakarmikas about keeping health was very low, thus exposing them to various infections.

A few pourakarmikas, on condition of anonymity, said that their salaries were deliberately withheld by clerks at the health department of the MCC. They said increments and other benefits can be obtained only after greasing the palms.

Pourakarmikas alleged that they were discriminated at ESI hospitals meant for the welfare of labourers. “If we go to the hospital, we are made to run from pillar to post. We are treated badly,” said a pourakarmika.

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