Saturday, April 5, 2008

Caste Inequality in EFL-U

Regarding Non-teaching staff:

The statistics show that as we move down the Groups, we see that Group A has a backlog to recover, Group B too in terms of reserved category posts not being filled up. As we move to the categories of ‘menial’ jobs like Group C and Group D, not only are criteria for reservations met but that in Group D there is an overwhelming majority of SC/ST workers far exceeding reserved numbers. What do we conclude? Traditional jobs meant for the depressed sections in a pre-modern set up seem to pertain to them still, even when our liberal worlds seemed to have exhausted us. Scavengers in the university are not given permanent status except a few who are all from an SC or ST background. In fact the posts are especially reserved for them. They hardly use the hygiene equipment given to them. The temporary employees lose Rs. 100 for every absent day even when the reason for absence is the death of a close relative (as in a recent case with one of the attendants in the new hostel whose husband had passed away). The categories of malis (gardeners), office attendants, NMR Mazdoors, sweepers, assistant plumber, have high SC/ST density. Funnily enough, the mess empoloyees-cooks, etc. are not from lower caste background. Does that mean that we refuse to eat food cooked by Dalit cooks? That is perhaps too strong a conclusion to draw but this is a fact worth pondering over.
An additional aspect to be pointed out is the fact that among the staff quarters allotments, out of 95 quarters a mere 12 belong to SC/ST employees. Given the fact that majority of Dalit employees belong to lower ranks of the administration, they perhaps cannot avail of the quarter facilities.

The university, as the authority has informed us, has constituted a committee to look into recruitment of SC/ST employees, which has been stalled over the last 8 years, following a case filed by the SC/ST Employees Welfare Association in the High Court over backlogs of these kinds (the case was filed after the National Committee for SC/ST visited the institution in 1992 and found several discrepancies in the roster that the institute was supposed to maintain).We sincerely hope that this effort bears fruit.

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