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Warangal: Panchayat secretaries turn whipping boys

Warangal: Panchayat secretaries turn whipping boys
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No wonder the Junior Panchayat Secretaries have become the whipping boys in the administration

Warangal: No wonder the Junior Panchayat Secretaries have become the whipping boys in the administration. Be it the severity of unemployment or the dream of government job due to security, prestige and stability assigned with it, nearly 4.5 lakh candidates who appeared for the secretary posts in 2018 were engineering graduates and postgraduates of various academia.

When the government filled 9,355 posts in 2019, those who made the cut were on cloud nine. However, it didn't take much time for them to realise what the hell of a job it has been.

In fact, the Secretaries' travails began with the agreement they executed to the authorities at the time of appointment stating that their services can be terminated at any time without assigning any reason.

Even though their job profile is similar to that of the regular panchayat secretaries, the juniors get a consolidated pay of Rs 15,000 a month and are not eligible for any allowance or monetary benefit. It may be noted here that a panchayat secretary is entitled to a pay of around Rs 26,000 a month at the start of his appointment.

Against this backdrop, the newly recruited commenced their service without any proper training even though their long list of responsibilities include conducting Gram Sabhas and implementing its resolutions, tax collection, sanitation, street lighting, drinking water, maintenance of nearly 32 records like registration of births and death and other developmental programmes etc. In addition to this, the secretaries have to look after all the works being implemented under the Palle Pragathi programme such as Haritha Haram, graveyards, dumping yards etc.

"It is really tough to work more than 12 hours a day under immense pressure, especially with the government adding responsibilities constantly. It is not that easy to work in a village environment where politics are dynamic and often of personal nature.

Virtually, we were caught in pincers during the Palle Pragathi with the ward members not cooperating and our higher-ups pulling us up for no progress in the works. On the other hand, the fear of losing the job is weighing us down immensely," a Junior Panchayat Secretary told The Hans India on the condition of anonymity.

Under constant pressure, some of the junior secretaries have already left the job, he said referring to the ordeals they were facing.

As if the responsibilities were not enough, recently the government had entrusted the duty of Field Assistants to carry the employment guarantee scheme, another junior panchayat secretary who works in Urban District said. Above all, we were not getting salaries regularly, he added.

Even though it's an unpalatable truth, the secretaries keep mum at the State's labour exploitation hoping good days after their three-year stint. It may be noted here that the bond they executed before the appointment, forbids them from joining any service, union or organisation.

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