Pourakarmikas initiate protest in Bengaluru for Covid-19 allowance and vaccination

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Pourakarmikas in Bengaluru, the frontline workers who are working round the clock to keep the city and the hospitals clean and hygienic, had initiated the protest urging the Karnataka Government to provide allowance and vaccination for them. The pourakarmikas came together in several areas of the city demanding for free vaccines and a sum of Rs 10,000 for procuring the protective gear and basic amenities, according to a statement by Appanna, the Karnataka General Secretary of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU).

Several pourakarmikas held placards with their demands written on them. During the lockdown, the pourakarmikas have half-working days from 06:30 am to 10:30 am, and their work also includes cleaning the hospitals and healthcare centres along with sweeping the streets and keeping the city clean.

Manju, a pourakarmika from Indiranagar said, “We cleaned a hospital but we were not paid any extra amount for it.” In the beginning of May, the pourakarmikas were provided with a protective gear and new uniforms, she said. However, they should provide extra allowance to manage the other affairs, she said, “We have to pay for our children’s school fees and for the rent.”

This is the second time, the pourakarmikas have held a protest during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their first protest was in the month of April asking for protective gear and transportation facilities when the lockdown had just begun.

The statement by AICCTU said, “The most unfortunate aspect is that workers in Group D jobs are not treated with dignity and respect, despite their invaluable contributions.”

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