OOD may be cancelled in next literary meet

More than the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana itself, the row over the issue of ‘on official duty’ (OOD) certificates to government officials — especially teachers — has made big news.

The executive committee of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, the organiser of the Sammelana, is considering a recommendation to the State government to cancel OOD facility from the next Sammelana to discourage namesake attendance.

Parishat sources said, in the recently concluded 80th Akhila Bharath Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, at Madikeri, 25,000 OOD certificates have been issued to government employees while their registration barely crossed 10,000. Last year, when the Sammelana was held in Bijapur, it was a whooping 43,000 against 8,000 registrations.

Even Parishat president Pundalik Halambi expressed his dissatisfaction over government employees attending or rather getting registered for the Sammelana just to avail OOD certificates.

The beneficiaries, this time started pestering the parishat office-bearers for OOD certificates even before the procession of Sammelana chairman Na D’Souza reached the venue on the first day itself. Again, in the evening, they staged a protest demanding certificates. So, the Parishat, which had earlier planned to issue OOD certificates through its district unit presidents, started issuing on the second day, with the help of police personnel.

T Sathish Javaregowda, a teacher and an active member of the Parishat, said government employees make use of the OOD facility to visit tourist places. So, usually, they register on the first day, spend time visiting places of interest nearby, get their OOD certificates on the second day and continue their tour — making good use of the holidays.

This time, the beneficiaries were enraged as the Parishat decided to issue certificates through district presidents. So, they got insecure and resorted to a protest.


How does the number of OOD certificates exceed the number of registration by government employees? There is a racket, enabling misuse of the OOD facility.

Government employees, who are also office-bearers in district or taluk level units of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, work as agents in this racket. They make use of technology, like mobile phones and e-transfer of money to bank accounts. Shivarudrappa (name changed), a teacher in Nanjangud taluk, who resides in Mysore city, was instrumental in getting over 500 OOD certificates of his teaching fraternity. He has developed contacts of these teachers over the past one decade. The teachers, who are in regular contact with each other in one particular area, form a group and give him a list. 

They transfer money — the amount for registration and also service charges — to bank accounts convenient to him. He gets the receipts of registration in the teachers’ names and also their OOD certificates and reaches them at their doorsteps, either by post or courier.

He is capable of getting OOD certificates even without a receipt of registration. But, that comes at a higher price. He boasts that he has clients as far as Davangere and Chikmagalur.

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