NAPM solidarity statement on the demands of Gramin Dak Sevaks to implement the Kamlesh Chandra Committee Report:
National Alliance of People’s Movements extends its support to the struggle of All India Gramin Dak Sevaks Union (AIGDSU)’s and their demand to implement the recommendation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee Report on Gramin Das Sevaks. Rural India Post Employees (known as Gramin Dak Sevaks) have been on a nationwide protest since 22nd May, 2018 under the banner of All India Gramin Dak Sevaks Unions. While the said Committee submitted its report on 24th November, 2016, it was published after two months and that too after an indefinite hunger strike call given by National Federation of Postal Employees, All India Postal Employees Union GDS and other organizations.
The government has delayed the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee for about 2 years now. Protesting non-implementation of the Kamlesh Chandra Committee’s recommendations and the Seventh pay Commission norms for Gramin Dak Sevaks working in rural areas, Postal staff have been demonstrating in front of several post offices including the head branches in Odisha, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other states as well.
Despite the all-round inflation, Dak Sevaks are paid salary only Rs. 6,000 -7,000. Even after working for 20-25 years, they are not considered as permanent employees and are not eligible for many other benefits due to government employees. It was in the light of this situation that Kamlesh Chandra Committee had recommended minimum scale of Rs. 10,000 for 3 hours, Rs. 12,000 for 4 hours and Rs. 14,500 for 5 hours work, 3 promotions (financial up gradation) on completion of 12, 24 and 36 years of service, maternity leave for 6 months and paternity leave for a week, Children’s education allowance and support for hiring accommodation, office maintenance, electricity charges etc.
Despite numerous technological and communication related strides, the postal department plays an important role even today, particularly in rural areas across the country and the Grameen Dak Sevaks are at the heart of these services. It is both unfortunate and unacceptable that the human resource which serves as the backbone of the rural communications system is kept deprived and the entire postal department itself is structurally and systematically sidelined, due to increasing privatization of postal services and a flawed global-capitalist friendly economic policy of the State.
The National Alliance of People’s Movements stands in solidarity with many of the long-standing and genuine demands of the Grameen Dak Sevaks and calls upon the Department of Posts and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to acknowledge and fulfill their charter of demands to implement the recommendations of Kamlesh Chandra Committee and fix a time limit to regularize their services and make them permanent.