Revanth Anna... Save Us', Plead Jobless Women Candidates

HYDERABAD: “Revanth anna... save us” was the wail of over 200 dejected and morose agitating unemployed youth, who gate-crashed into Gandhi Bhavan to meet Telangana PCC chief A. Revanth Reddy as their only hope, even as the state police were chasing to arrest them.

The candidates, who had appeared for the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) and qualified for the physical education teachers (PET) exam way back in 2017, were not given jobs by the BRS government during the last seven years.

Several of these candidates, who have been fighting for more than five years for their rightful recruitment to be processed, were on Thursday morning arrested at 10.30 am at the TSPSC building, where they were trying to hold a dharna.

After an altercation with the police, more than 100 of them rushed a few hundred metres away into the Congress office, Gandhi Bhavan, by about 11.30 am. Incidentally, the party was organising Bonalu festivities at that time.

Even as the police chased to detain them, they pleaded, saying, “Revanth anna... please save us.”

Despite previously scheduled programmes, Revanth Reddy, who is also the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha MP, rushed to listen to their grievances.

In tears and with folded arms, the agitating candidates pleaded with Revanth Reddy, to represent their woes. Reddy assured action would be taken and the Congress “would stand by them”, and “everyone else who was a victim of injustice of the indifferent KCR government”.

The candidates, interestingly, joined in the Bonalu festivities at the venue, but also held placards and raised slogans against TSPSC’s inaction. Subsequently, several of the candidates, mostly women, were taken into preventive custody by the police.

A total of 1,232 qualified candidates are awaiting results of the TSPSC PET-2017, to fill 616 vacancies in government-run residential schools, of which 450 are reserved for women.

“Results for half of them were already declared, followed by certificate verification, which was to be held for four days but was stopped after Day 2. The case has been in court for five years and even after the High Court directed TSPSC to declare results and start recruitment, they have failed to do so. Every time we reach out to them, they say 'it's under discussion' and we are shooed away,” said Srinivas Banda, a qualified candidate, who travelled from Parigi for the protest.

The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) guidelines state that to teach students up to Class VIII, PETs must have an Intermediate qualification along with a diploma in physical education, and for those teaching classes IX and X, PETs must be physical education graduates and have participated at state/district-level sports. TSPSC, however, in its 2017 notification, made no such demarcation, causing confusion and leading to court cases that stayed the recruitment process. With the court finally directing TSPSC to work out a segregation of two categories and declare results based on merit, the same hasn't been done yet.

“We can still approach the High Court now, alleging contempt of court, but we know that the TSPSC will use it to delay the case further,” said V. Madhavi, another qualified candidate.

About 900 of the qualified candidates are women, thanks to the 80 per cent reservation. “Some of us have kept marriages or having kids on the backburner so it won't affect our job prospects,” said Anita P.

Those who have tried applying for a job elsewhere are struggling with meagre pay. “I am working for Rs 10,000 or less per month or on a contract basis for two years, despite being qualified. It is affecting my family life and finances,” said 35-year-old J. Vijaya Lakshmi.

“I'm told the actual vacancies are more than 20,000 as per records, back in 2017 itself, but they gave a notification for 616 posts and now, even that is pending,” said Krishnaveni, who left her young kids at home to attend the protest.

Another candidate said that when they approached TSPSC officials, they were asked to “approach the society, who sent us back here. Today, we were not allowed to enter because apparently, they feared that we would steal the Group 4 exams papers and leak them.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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