Report by India Education bureau, Bhubaneswar: Gaon Saathi Mahasangh on Saturday expressed strong resentments over the Government apathy towards their demands and threatened that they would stage mass Satyagrah in front of the Assembly if their legitimate demands are not fulfilled within 10 days.
Addressing a press conference here at UTEA office, the office bearers of the Gaon Saathi Mahasangh alleged that the State Government had issued advertisements seeking applications from highly qualified candidates for Gaon Sathi posts and promising to pay Rs 2500 per month. But after recruitment, Gaon Sathis were given Rs 4 per worker.
While the Gaon Sathis stiffly objected to this, the then Minister Prafulla Samal and Secretary Aparajita Sarangi provided training to them and made the allowance Rs 103 per day for the days in which the workers are engaged. The remuneration was later increased to Rs 143 now. But, while six years have passed and demands have been presented repeatedly, the state government is yet to take any constructive step to meet those demands. As a result, future of thousands of Gaon Sathis has been pushed into darkness.
Worth mentioning, the State Government is getting a number of works done by the Gaon Sathis. The Gaon Sathis help card holders open pass book in banks, help people get job cards, inform job card holders about the work place, day and time and engage them in the work, take their attendance in the end of the work, fill up the muster roll, help the job card holders get dues from bank, coordinate for construction of earthen and concrete roads, ponds, check dams and culverts under various schemes of the Government. They also with the help of Forest department take part in noble work like plantation which is very important for checking soil erosion. Besides, they are being engaged in various government works including expediting rural sanitation scheme.
Hence, the Gaon Sathis have demanded that they should be given permanent appointments in their respective panchayats and a monthly incentive allowance of Rs 4,500 should be paid to each of them. If the State Government remain callous and does not fulfill demands within 10 days, Gaon Sathis from across the state would stage mass Satyagrah and if needed would intensify agitation.
Among others, Mahasangh’s advisor, former MLA and incumbent Cashew Corporation Chairman Bikram Keshari Burma, State President of Gaon Sathi Mahasangha Bijay Kumar Dash, Secretary Muralidhar Mallick, vice president Ms Gitanjali Patra, Mr. Udayanath Mallick, Mr. Sangram Keshari Jena, Mr. Naresh Kumar Swain, Mr. Soubhagya Kumar Mishra and Mr. Bharat Barik were present and addressed the press conference.