Nearly 550 health and sanitation workers employed on contract by the APCRDA (AP Capital Region Development Authority) in the Amaravati capital region of Andhra Pradesh held protest demonstrations on May 22. They are demanding payment of wages due to them for the last 4 months.
Workers gathered near the Penumaka panchayat office and other locations in the capital region on the morning of May 22 and raised slogans in support of their demands. They also held placards stating their demands. They highlighted the terrible conditions they and their families are going through, due to non-payment of their wages for so long, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown.
These health and sanitation workers work in 29 villages in the capital region. They perform the same duties as the sanitation workers hired by gram panchayats, but their salaries are paid by the CRDA. They have been working in extremely difficult conditions in the villages during the Covid-19 lockdown, putting their lives at risk and often working many hours more that their stipulated time. Not only have they not been provided any protective gear by the authorities during the pandemic, but their salaries have also been withheld for 4 months. These workers usually earn upto Rs 8,600 per month after deductions. With no money in their hands during the severe lockdown, these workers and their families have suffered a lot.
This shows the cruel callousness of the state towards the condition of the health and sanitation workers, whom it makes a big show of “honouring” by showering flowers and beating drums, etc.