SC order on dependent jobs strains family ties of Singareni workers

SC order on dependent jobs strains family ties of Singareni workers
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The Supreme Court decision, upholding the decision of the High Court at Hyderabad on dependent jobs in the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), is putting a heavy strain on family relations of SCCL workers. 

Adilabad & Khammam: The Supreme Court decision, upholding the decision of the High Court at Hyderabad on dependent jobs in the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), is putting a heavy strain on family relations of SCCL workers.

Especially, the sons-in-law of SCCL workers have been demanding more dowry or a share in the girl’s family property. Otherwise, they threaten to annul marriages as the scope of getting employed in the colliery was ruled out.

In Mancherial area, 50 marriages were already annulled because of the apex court verdict. The SCCL workers are worried about not being able to ease their burden of performing the girl’s marriage with the court applying breaks on the recruitment on the basis of hereditary.

On an average, in the SCCL worker’s family with two children, the elder of the family promised dependent job in the SCCL to one child and property to the other child. As it was amply clear that securing a job in the collieries on dependent quota is ruled out, the children of the family are approaching the police station for a share in the family property.

In some cases, the properties were already registered in the name of one of the children making it impossible for the SCCL worker to retract the steps.

Those, who were promised jobs under dependent quota in the SCCL, felt cheated either way: loss of job and loss of share in family property. The children have been putting pressure on the family to redistribute the property in the light of the court decision. The parents were in a quandary on how to resolve the problem.

The condition of SCCL workers without any property, but adopted children with the promise to give them a job in the SCCL under dependent quota was so pathetic. They have neither property to leave behind for the adopted children nor a job in the SCCL.

Children abusing their parents became a common sight in the SCCL families as fallout of the court verdict, which threw over 30,000 families into a crisis.

The SCCL workers’ unions have been demanding the State government’s intervention to resolve the problem. Otherwise, the unions point out that suicide trend among the SCCL workers might crop up.

The union challenged the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court. which upheld it. The apex court ruling plunged the worker community of the colliery into despair. The workers put the onus on the State government, which they said issued notification on dependent jobs in the SCCL rather hastily.

The apex court annulled the notification issued on December 20 to fill the jobs under dependent quota and held such recruitment is not only against the Constitution but also discriminatory.
However, the SCCL was asked by the apex court to go ahead with recruitment on compassionate grounds within the framework of the Supreme Court guidelines.

In fact, filling of jobs under dependent quota in the SCCL came to a halt since 2002. The SCCL workers pinned hopes on creation of Telangana for revival of dependent quota. In tune with their aspirations, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao issued a notification for filling jobs in the colliery under the dependent quota. He ruled that children of workers who are either injured or turned sick or retired from service on attaining the age of superannuation, are eligible for jobs.

The sons of the SCCL workers, who are educated but working in private sector and educated but unemployed and their sons-in-law applied for a job under dependent quota.

Even as the SCCL officials are perusing the applications, the High Court declared the whole recruitment process as null and void bringing despair to the worker community. When the ruling was challenged, the Supreme Court upholding the High Court decision augmented their agony.

The workers and their family members are seething with anger attributing lack of legality to the notification issued by the State government to the hasty manner it was carried out.

Justifying their right to secure jobs for their wards, the SCCL workers pointed out that none came forward to work in the mines about 50 years ago risking their lives.

They claimed that they worked very hard for the growth of the colliery not to be disheartened by accidental death of fellow workers. Therefore, the onus of giving jobs to their wards under the dependent quota is on the state government, they reason.

Several workers have been perplexed at how to pacify their rather irate sons-in-law confronting them with a volley of questions.

Working in a coal mine would mean not working from the cool and cozy environments of an air-conditioned office. The workers should get suitable rewards for their hard work and sacrifice.

Since the courts put their foot down on the dependent recruitment, the State government should not throw its hands up out of helplessness but come forward with a suitable alternative, the workers demand.

The workers and their family members appeal to Singareni workers’ unions to find an amicable solution to the problem cutting across their political affiliations.

By: Thotla Chinna Anjaiah & Nagender Adapala

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