More than a lakh Central Government Employees including in Railways, Defence and Central Secretariat have succumbed to death after battling with COVID-19 virus. These employees are forced to work during this pandemic. None of them have been paid any compensation / ex-gratia. Even compassionate appointment is not given to their family. The commitment and devotion of the CG Employees during any crisis is commendable. But
unfortunately when a soldier dies the Country Salutes him, which he deserves, but the central Government employees also deserves some recognition from the Government which they are not getting. Adding salt to the injury the Health Secretary of Government of India on 15/5/2021 has written a letter to the Chief Secretaries of the State Governments in which he has stated :-
“It has been learnt that some States/UTs are approving additional categories of persons as additional categories of persons as FKLWs belonging to different Department (like Government Department of Banking, Railways and Transport etc.) In this regard, States/UTs are advised to please note that the FLWs categories and their definition has been very clearly communicated by MoHFW and no change in the categories of FLWs and their definition has been made by Government of India. Thus, it is advised that States/UTs should adhere to these categories as defined by MohFW based on the recommendations of the NEWVAG.”
This is highly objectionable and needs to be condemned. The Health Secretary has forgotten that in his own Ministry People are coming and working risking their life. The Central Government Employees Organisations have taken up this matter seriously and Shiva Gopal Mishra / Secretary/ Staff side has written a strongly worded letter to the Cabinet Secretary on 21/5/2021. In his letter Mishra has protested against the attitude of the
Government in treating the Central Government Employees as orphans and have demanded that the Central Government should declare the employees of Railways, Defence, Port, Airlines etc should be declared as Front Line Warriors and should be given free Vaccination. Already Government has saved more than Rs.85 thousand Crores by freezing their 3 installments of DA including that of Pensioners. Government has withdrawn from its responsibility and duty to pay Pension to its own employees by introducing the contributory NPS Pension Scheme where there is no guarantee for a minimum pension. More than 7 lakh posts are lying vacant in Government departments. Each employee now do the job of at least two employees. No sympathy and sensitivity
towards them. How can in a democracy a Government can be so insensitive towards its own employees. Hope now at least some realization takes place in the minds of the Rulers.
Views expressed here are those of C.Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF and Standing Committee Member of National Council JCM of Central Government Employees