The plight of the women came to light when Ravindranath Shanbhag, an activist, brought the women, to address a press conference

Two women, who have put in about four decades of service to the government on a monthly salary of Rs. 15 for much part of it, have not been regularised by the Government, though they have fought their case right up to Supreme Court. In addition to the salary, they were paid Rs. 65 as “allowance on temporary basis”.

The women – Akku, a Dalit working as sweeper with Government Women Teachers’ Training Institute, Udupi and Leela from a backward community working as scavenger with this institution – have been in service since 1971, documents show. Akku has since retired from service.

The plight of the women came to light when Ravindranath Shanbhag, activist and founder of Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi, brought the women, to address a press conference in Mangalore on Tuesday.

Besides the Supreme Court, the High Court of Karnataka and the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) ordered the regularisation on different dates since 2004. The KAT asked the Government in 2004 to regularise them in 90 days.

The 2010 applications by women to the Government highlighting their condition of being “poor and hav(ing) no means of livelihood…” have not had any effect. Barring them, there was nobody else working in the institution as sweeper or scavenger, they said demanding regularization of their services.

Mr. Shanbhag, whose NGO fought the case of the women, said they had not even getting their meagre wages for the last two and half years after the Supreme Court verdict. He said authorities were now saying that the women were not employable because they had reached the retirement age.

He was surprised the Government spent lakhs rupees on fighting the cases against the hapless women rather than pay what is due to them. He told The Hindu that the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had maintained that 70,000 others would have to be regularised if they were absorbed. Mr. Shanbhag saw nothing wrong in absorbing all of them.

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