Report by Nishapati Nayak, Koraput: Members of the Nikhil Odisha Gram Rozgar Sevak Sangh (NOGRSS) held a protest demonstration in the panchayat samiti on demanding government to make them permanent employees in panchayat bodies.
This union comprises of Gram Rozgar Sevaks (GRS) of nandapur block of Koraput district, who have been appointed on contractual basis to monitor implementation of projects taken up under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in rural areas. According to organising president of NOGRSS, Manoranjan Khemendu, they also serve as multi-purpose assistants in panchayats.
But members of the organisation allege that they and their services are being neglected by the government. So, on Friday they took up protest demonstration in panchayat samiti,nandapur to highlight their five demands.
Hundreds of Gram Rozgar Sevaks took part in the protest that started from dated 18.09.2017 till now continuing since last twenty-two days.this protest is supported by mr.manoranjan khemendu(president),abilash biswal(vice -president),kaml rao smith(sectrary) and all members of 23 gram panchayat of NOGRSS.
The agitating group handed over a grievance petition no.18/General on dated 09/10/17 addressed to Mr.Anupam Saha ,collector-cum-district magistrate ,koraput while Grievance Redressal at the office of the panchayat samiti,nandapur block under Koraput district.
As per activist of NOGRSS, they are now key elements in the panchayat bodies. Apart from monitoring the MGNREGA work they are also helping in functioning of public distribution system, distribution of allowances to aged, widows, physically challenged and conduct of palli sabha in rural areas.
During times of natural calamity they are also helping in distribution of relief and different enumerations taken up by government. As per the directive of the State government, each GRS is looking after two villages, Mr. kamal rao smith (sectrary)said.
According to the NOGRSS members they are now getting Rs. 3,000 per month, which is less than the prescribed daily wage for menial labourers for a month.
The NOGRSS demanded the government to appoint them as regular class III government employees.“We can be appointed as accountant cum data entry officers in panchayat bodies”, they said. According to them several posts of Village Level Workers (VLW) are vacant in the State Government should initiate measures to appoint us in those posts.
They also want facilities of EPF and ESI to be extended to them and provision of social security.
They threatened to intensify their agitation if their demands were not fulfilled. According to them government should realise that their intensified agitation would hamper rural development in the State.
While reporting mr.Anupam saha,collector ,Koraput stated as today NOGRSS members came to me during Grievance Redressal cell .this case will be forward to appropriate authority though it is not in my hand we will intimate to government regarding this case.This Grievance Redressal cell,nandapur block is supported by the presence of all officials of Koraput district.