CIVIL STATUS TO GDS
A reply to a question in LOK SABHA on 14th July 2014, the Hon’ble Minister of Communication & IT and Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad Jee said that the GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS are not regular Government Employees. They are part time workers and are governed by a separate set of Conduct and Engagement Rules. They do not form part of the regular civil service. They are engaged for only 3 to 5 hours daily work. It is mandatory for them to have an independent source of livelihood before being engaged as GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS and explained as Government already given so many welfare schemes like SDB (Service Discharge Benefit Scheme), exgratia gratuity etc
With due respect and regards we appeal and urge our Hon’ble Communication Minister who are the Minister also for Law & Justice to not to deny the “JUSTICE’ to 2.73 Lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks down trodden and poor employees working in the department of posts.
In the present set up of the social, economic structure of rural areas, the daily wages for an agricultural labourers has been fixed much above the daily rate of a GDS. Resultantly, the GDS employees are not able to meet the family expenses and have one square meal a day.
The declaration of Justice Talwar Committee that ’95.70 % joined the Postal Department as ED agents hoping to get full time absorption and only 4.08 % took it as a side occupation” is the real fact still prevailing and they are solely depending upon their wages for their livelihood” in rural areas, still many of them are underpaid and lesser in the standard of living while comparing the MNREGS beneficiaries.
Notwithstanding our genuine claim to declare the GDS as holder of civil posts and dispen the class within the class which is in violation of Article 14 &16 of the Union Constitution, we wish to put forth the feasibilities of such departmentalization of GDS and improve the service with the existing infrastructure in an effective manner.
With the hope of departmentalization at the one day, the GDS are prolonging their life with more expectation of their future. Their hopes can be considered by introducing various new services in the rural areas with the cooperation’s of the Human resource ministry and by introducing various social and developmental activities.
The Post Office alone has such a vast network and infrastructure and it can be fully utilized by providing various new services to rural public through post office by its own saving bank scheme to distribute the Govt. welfare measures as if we are doing under the MGNREGS Scheme e.g 1. the work like pension payment 2. sale of cash certificate (Government bonds)3. Introducing all kinds of bill services and commercial activities in the rural areas like acceptance of electricity bills, Land Revenue, Panchayat taxes etc. under business activities of Postal Department or tie with such governmental organizations. This would result to enhance the working hours for eight hours and introduce various new works at village level with the cooperation of other government and public sector organization. If time factors for all the work performed by the GDS is formulated certainly it will pave way for the regularization of many GDS actually working for more than six hours but not avaled the benefit of the departmentalization. We do not want any incentive are perks denying our regularization. There is nothing wrong to entrust the work of part time contingent in the case of departmentalization of the Branch Offices.
If all the GDS are departmentalized by scraping the existing GDS system with eight hours work and each official assigned with various new works to improve the functioning of rural Post Offices in order to make it more remunerative and will overcome the financial problems of the department. This vast infrastructure will really be an invaluable asset to the department in this era of e-commerce and e-governance not at all a liability. If Post Offices are kept open for more hours by introducing more new work as suggested above there is every possibility for increasing the workload generating extra revenue for the department. By considering all above facts and cause action for departmentalization of rural Post Offices for improvement of rural postal net work it Justified.