Following vehement dissent from Uttar Pradesh’s teachers union, the state government asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to amend its rules regarding compensation for families of all polling officials who died of Covid-19 after panchayat election duty.
According to The Hindu, the state government on May 20, 2021 suggested that the SEC include more people in its list of panchayat poll duty casualties owing to Covid-19. The decision came in the wake of a detailed list submitted by the Uttar Pradesh Primary Teachers Association that put the figure at 1,621 deaths across the state, as opposed to the government’s tally of just three people!
The union demanded a compensation of Rs. 1 crore each family. At the time, the demand was rejected by the State Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi claiming that as per guidelines, only three people died during election duty i.e., while travelling from home to the location where they were to report for duty.
However, during a high-level meeting, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said these guidelines need to be looked into to include Covid-like situations as well. Accordingly, he told the Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary to speak to the SEC regarding amendment of guidelines.
Adityanath said the government is ready to provide all necessary facilities to its employees, especially at a time when they have done election or any other duty. Moreover, acknowledging the number of orphaned children during the Covid-crisis, he called for a detailed plan from the Women and Child Development Department for maintenance and proper care of such kids.
Meanwhile, in a previous letter, the teachers union made the following demands as compensation:
- Teaching posts for all dependents appearing for BTC, B.Ed, D.L. Ed and clerical jobs for others.
- Pre-April-1-2005 pension system for aggrieved families and gratuity for families of teachers aged 60 years and younger.
- Relief from duty for teachers and staff who continue to work in Covid-Control rooms.
- Provision of the title ‘Covid warriors’ for all members who died during election duty.
- Government assistance in paying medical fees of Covid-recovered teachers and staff.
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