Akku and Leela spent 42 years of their life cleaning 21 toilets of Government owned Women Teachers' Training Institute at Udupi (Karnataka) three times a day for all the seven days in a week for a basic salary of Rs15/- a month.
Leela, a dalit woman and Akku who belongs OBC category joined the school in 1971 through an appointment order by Education department as temporary workers for Rs15 a month on the assurance by the officials that they would be made permanent and be paid full salary as soon as they get the post sanctioned.
However, from 1971 to 1999 they requested bureaucrats and politicians for payment of minimum wages fixed by the Government.
These groups were joined by NGO'S, joined their struggle and the legal battle went on for next 10 years. The authorities are saying that the women are not employable because they have reached the retirement age! inspite of the fact that they were in service when the verdict was pronounced by the Supreme Court!
On 25-7-2003, The Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) ordered for the regularization of services of the complainants in 90 days . Nothing happened for fourteen months in spite of repeated representations from these ladies.
On 6-9-2004, the ladies filed contempt proceedings against the government. Immediately, the education department filed an appeal to the Karnataka High Court against the order of KAT.
On 4-10-2004, Karnataka High court dismissed the appeal by the government after hearing and ordered the Government to pay the salaries. Notices were issued for contempt of courts when salaries were not paid.
Instead of paying their salaries, in 2005, Karnataka Govt preferred special leave petition before the Supreme Court of India (SLP No: 533/05) challenging the order of Karnataka High Court.
On 22 -1-2010, Supreme Court of India passed the judgment (Civil Appeal NO: 860-861 of 2010) directing the Karnataka Govt to consider the complainants' claim for regularization of employment with the principles laid down by Constitution Bench in State of Karnataka & others Vs Uma Devi & others. On 25 – 6- 2010, the victims once again approached various officers including the secretary to the Govt of Karnataka, to regularize their employment and pay arrears due to them.
Inspite of the Supreme Court Order, the scavengers have not received their wages even after two and a half years of the Supreme Court verdict, Although they were in service when the verdict was pronounced by the Supreme Court.
It is surprising to note that these bureaucrats and politicians spent lakhs of tax payers' money to fight against these victims; they never thought of how these two women with a basic salary of Rs 15/- would afford to fight a case.
Kindly request you join the peteiton and share it among your friends and acquantaince to get necessary relief to Akku and Leela as directed by the Supreme Court India and relive these victims from their trauma.
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