Yet another controversy has erupted in the Jamia Millia Islamia University located in the Okhla region of South-East Delhi. A video of sanitation workers from Jamia is going viral on social media platforms. One of the terminated employees identified as Rajesh Kumar Valmiki made a heart-wrenching appeal against Jamia’s administration’s decision to terminate the employment of 23 Sanitation workers.
In the video, Rajesh Kumar Valmiki claimed that 23 Sanitation Workers had been removed from their posts. He said that all 23 employees belong to the Valmiki community. He alleged that the authorities have told that they have got orders from Ministry of Human Resources (HRD) to remove 23 out of 132 sanitation workers.
Only members of Valmiki community terminated
He said, “Only the employees of our Valmiki community have been removed. We have been working in Jamia from last 15-20 years. Even in the difficult time of Corona we continued to provide sanitation services in the Campus. We have cleaned drains. But now when the time has come to reduce the number of employees, we are being targeted first. We are facing discrimination in the University. We are very upset with Jamia.” Rajesh also showed the list of the employees who were terminated.
He said that majority of the employees who have been terminated have passed 10th standard or studied up to class 12th. Still, they are given work to clean sewage. Rajesh further added that 16 men in the department are posted as peons. He also said that there are employees for the prevention of malaria, but their work is seasonal. He alleged that as per guidelines, the employees for malaria prevention should get only three months worth employment.
No salaries for four months
Rajesh said that they have not received salaries for months. He said, “We are regular employees. We have not received our salary for 3-4 months. Many of us live in rented houses. We do not have money to feed our children. How can we recharge our phones? This is Jamia’s condition.”
It has to be noted that during Covid times smartphones have become a necessity, especially for students as they have to take online classes. In situations like these where parents are not paid on time, it gets difficult for the students to keep up with their studies.
Jamia has a long history of controversies
This is not the first time Jamia has found itself deep in controversies. The foundation of Jamia Milia Islamia was laid by Maulana Mahmud Hasam. One of its founders was Mohammad Ali Jauhar who dreamed of Hindustan Darul Islam and had opposed Vande Mataram in 1923. During the anti-CAA protests, Jamia students were allegedly involved in demonstrations and violence.