For Javed Akhtar, a physically-challenged resident of V.P. House in Central Delhi, the biggest “tragedy” of people who live in the New Delhi Assembly constituency is that though their MLA has become the new Chief Minister, they are unable to access him. Mr. Akhtar was outside the Delhi Secretariat on Saturday to meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the first Janata Durbar organised by the Aam Aadmi Party Government but due to the “crowd mismanagement” he could not even catch a glimpse.
“Mr. Kejriwal has not even visited his constituency even once after he was elected. I am waiting here since morning to meet him…” he said. “There is no arrangement at all. Sheila Dikshit used to meet less number of people at her residence, but it was at least systematic,” he added, as the crowd swelled around him.
There were several like Mr. Akhtar who missed an opportunity to meet any of the AAP Ministers. Nisha Rani, for instance, wanted “somebody” to intervene in a property dispute that involved her in-laws. “My husband died nine months ago and my in-laws are forcing me and my children out of a house that I rightfully should inherit,” she said. “Please tell me who I should speak to? I heard Rakhi Birla has already left the venue?”
Others wanted jobs for their children in government agencies without having to pay a bribe, permanent employment as security guards in civic bodies, or not to be troubled by power discoms to pay bills that have long been paid. The most vociferous among the crowd were groups of contractual workers from various government departments such as DTC, DSIIDC, different government hospitals and civic bodies.Time-bound manner
The slogans raised by those gathered caught the attention of Mr. Kejriwal who assured them that he will look into their problems in a time-bound manner. “I am writing to all departments asking for a report on whether it is possible to make the jobs permanent. I will get the reports back within one week and I request you to give me one month to get back to you,” he promised.
Some, however, did not even demand regularising of jobs. “We are not demanding that regularise us or give us a permanent job. We just want our contracts to be renewed. Government is likely to come up with notification for new vacancies within a week as our contract is due to end by mid-February. What would we do after being in job for five years,” said Ashok, a serving Home Guard.
Devender, another member of the group that turned up at the Secretariat to meet Mr. Kejriwal, said the system of five-yearly recruitment also incurs extra expenditure on the exchequer.
“Even the band members in Home Guards have permanent job. It incurs around Rs. 40,000 to train one jawan. The current strength of Home Guards in Delhi is 5,000. It requires Rs.16 crore just to train them every five years,” he said.