A former woman conductor with Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) climbed a tree outside the state secretariat, in an attempt to commit suicide on wednesday. Despite initial requests, the visibly tired woman, 38, did not oblige. She was eventually calmed down by a few men from the fire department and brought down.
The woman, Dinia, is one among the 3861 people who worked with KSRTC, but were laid off from their jobs around 2 months ago, after High Court directives of giving preferences to those who have cracked their Public Service Commission. “Dinia has two children age 3 and 7-years-old. She also has to feed her mother. She lost her husband 6 months back. She wasn’t getting another job. And she got even more frustrated when she arrived for the protest but found the protest tent dismantled,” one of the protesting ex-conductors told NDTV.
Around 150 former employees, who were laid off, have been protesting for last 30 days outside the secretariat. Their protest venue was dismantled by the local self-government a day ahead of the major religious festivity of Attukal Pongala.
“We want our jobs back. We want each of us to be taken back. We have worked here for 10-15 years. At the age of 40 what other jobs would you want us to get. If they had sent us off a year or two after hiring us, we would have written some exam and found some job. At the age of 40, after 12 years of being a conductor, what job do they want us to do?” Sindhu L, one of the protesting ex- conductors told NDTV.