RTC women employees speak of everyday horrors

A woman addressing the gathering at a round table meeting organised by Women and Transgender Organisations’ JAC at Press Club in the city on Thursday.

A woman addressing the gathering at a round table meeting organised by Women and Transgender Organisations’ JAC at Press Club in the city on Thursday.  

Poor access to toilet makes their job an ordeal

Women conductors working for the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) said they avoid drinking water after boarding the bus as they have to wait for long hours to attend the call of nature due to poor access to bathrooms, leading to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).

The issue was raised by the corporation’s women employees who attended a round table meeting on work conditions and challenges faced by them, organised by the Women and Transgender Organisations’ JAC at Somajiguda Press Club on Thursday.

They talked about the inconvenience faced by them when they have to stand for long hours during menstruation or while pregnant, the reaction of the passengers when they sit in bus for a short while, the need for leaves when they menstruate, and others on the sidelines of the meeting. A conductor with the RTC Hyderabad Depot-2, K. Aruna, said in a seven-hour journey between Dilsukhnagar and Udgir, Maharashtra, there are only two stops to relieve themselves. Other employees too narrated similar issues that they face while on job. “We wait for five to ten minutes to pick up passengers. But people raise questions when we take a break for a few minutes to attend the nature’s call,” said K. Padma, another conductor with the Hyderabad Depot-2.

Ms. Aruna said administrative duties should be allotted to women on some days. Narrating a story on the challenges faced by them while menstruating, the employees said a woman conductor started bleeding while on job and the bus was incidentally passing by her village, Kandhanaveli, near Tandur depot. When she left for her home for a few minutes to change clothes, Ticket Travelling Inspectors (TTI) got into the bus and suspended her for lapse of duty. The employees said though they have submitted a proposal to the RTC management for three-days leave a month during menstruation, it has not been approved.

Telangana movement

The women employees who attended the meeting did not fail to recall their participation in the struggle for Telangana statehood and their expectations of a bright future after the formation of the State. They vowed to continue their protest until their demands were met.

An academician, Surepally Sujatha, urged the protesters not to end their life in despair and asked them to keep a watch on their colleagues and seek help if they see any signs of depression in them. At the end of the round table meeting, all India convener of Progress Organisation for Women, V. Sandhya, said Women and Transgender Organisations’ JAC expressed solidarity with the strike taken up by the RTC employees till their demands were met.

“The TSRTC should be merged with the government, and the latter should pay back all dues to the corporation, while the proposal to privatise the RTC should be withdrawn. A high-power committee should be established to identify, discuss and resolve issues faced by the women employees. Ex-gratia should be given to families of the employees who died because of the government’s decision,” Ms. Sandhya said.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2020 1:27:42 AM |

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