THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s school reopening time. And many women who were engaged in waste collection under the various Kudumbashree Cleanwell units, who had nothing better to do in the last five months, are a scared lot.
Books, learning materials, bags - school purchase is a long list and they have no job or money. The women took out a march in the city on Thursday, asking the State Government to consider their plight.
The march organised by Kudumbashree Cleanwell Thozhil Samrakshana Vedi which took off from Palayam martyrs’ square was inaugurated by AIUTUC vice-president and ended at Secretariat. The women demanded that the Government allow them Rs 10,000 that has been recommended by the Kudumbashree Mission as a grant to them.
"A letter was written by Kudumbashree Mission to the Social Welfare Department to grant the women a consolation allowance in view of their plight. We are demanding the amount to be disbursed now so that the women can send their children to school,’’ said M A Susi, secretary of the organisation.
According to the women who turned up for the march, many among them were the sole bread-winners of their family. With the income getting cut off suddenly, many had been going for trivial jobs, but not getting enough to pay the loans and make ends meet.
"I got into this job almost nine years ago and was running my family smoothly. My two children study at small private schools nearby and I have to pay the fees. One of them is into standard X and I can’t possibly change his school now. The other one is into standard III. My husband has a bad health and cannot do much for the family,’’ says Suma Devi, a unit member in Nalanchira.
She says in the nine-member unit at Nalanchira ward, many women face the same fate. "Many are widowed with children and need money to meet the school-opening expense. But how?’’ asks Suma.
She added that neither the government nor the Corporation has spared any thoughts in their direction. The women have been trying to get into NREGA jobs or into cleaning jobs in hospitals and institutions. But very few have been able to get hold of good jobs.