Com.K.K.Ragesh, M.P. Kerala has written a detailed letter to the Communications Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, on the difficulties faced by the BSNL pensioners due to non-receipt of Medical reimbursement and medical allowance. He has demanded that the payment be made at the earliest. Copy of letter given below.
AIBDPA CONDEMNS AND STRONGLY PROTEST THE IRRESPONSIBLE AND BASELESS ALLEGATIONS OF SHRI. ANANTHAKUMAR HEGDE MP AGAINST BSNL EMPLOYEES.
BJP MP, Shri. Ananthakumar Hegde from Karnataka has made some most condemnable and baseless allegations against BSNL and its employees. It is reported that while participating in a public function at Uttara Kannada, Shri.Ananthakumar Hegde has stated that all BSNL employees are Desh Dhrohis and BSNL has become a black mark for the entire country and the government will finish it. He continued his utterances and further stated that despite Prime Minister providing fund and technology, the employees are not willing to work. So the government has decided to fire the entire employees and privatise BSNL.
It is well known to the people of the country that it is BSNL alone for their rescue by restoring communication facilities swiftly when natural calamities hit and how selflessly the BSNL employees rise to the occasion. The government has always tried to weaken BSNL by promoting the private telecom companies unduely. The revival package declared by the government in October, 2019 is yet to be implemented barring the retrenchement of 78,569 BSNL employees in the name of VRS. Starting of 4G service by BSNL has become uncertain with the cancellation of tender by BSNL on the intervention of the government. Inspite of all these attacks and hurdles, it is the commitment of the employees that BSNL is still sustaining.
AIBDPA STRONGLY CONDEMNS AND PROTESTS THE BASELESS AND IRRESPONSIBLE STATEMENT OF SHRI. ANANTHAKUMAR HEGDE MP. (AIBDPA Website)
The outbursts of Shri Anantkumar Hegde, BJP M.P. from Karnataka in a public function that ‘BSNL employees are traitors’,’BSNL employees are not willing to work’ and that ‘ all the 88,000 BSNL employees will be fired and the government will privatise BSNL’ are atrocious. The All Unions and Associations of BSNL(AUAB) has already strongly protested.
The statement of the M.P. is condemnable. There is no base for the venom-spitting. Since formation of BSNL, its employees have been continuously championing for a better and cheaper service to the people. Of course the workers have strongly protested and defeated the government move to disinvest, privatise and liquidate it. That may be the reason for his outburst. But no one expects such unjustified outbursts from a representative of the people.
BSNL and its workers have always been at the service of the nation. It is only BSNL which always came to the rescue of the people in time of natural calamities and such tragedies. Private companies are interested only in garnering profits. This has been proved several times.
If the statement was made by a lunatic, it can be understood; But not from an M.P. We strongly condemn the unjustified accusation against the workers and demands the Central government and the BJP leadership to take necessary action.
2001 July 24 – I was returning from a one day tour of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
In connection with the membership verification, I had gone to Srinagar, J and K , by flight on 23rd July. Jammu and Kasmir still in turbulent situation due to terrorists, but can not avoid journey. Com. A.R.Tak, Circle Secretary ITEU welcomed me at airport. Meeting was for formation of BSNLEU Circle Union by merging T.III, ITEU, Administrative and E.III(N) unions. Despite grave situation, more than 200 comrades participated. Formed BSNL Circle Union with Coms. V.K.Mahaldar as President and Nizar Ahmed as Circle Secretary. Addressed a well attended seminar. BSNL IQ booked for stay, but Com.Nizar Ahmed took me to his home stating home is safe and not IQ. I could feel the tension in their faces. Com. Tak was also staying in a portion of the house. As the system in Kashmir, we all took our tasty dinner prepared by Mrs. Nizar sitting on the beautiful carpet in the kitchen and discussing organisational matters. Only vegetarian as a special case.
Next day, there was another meeting in the morning. By the time meeting was over, it was time to move to Airport to catch my flight. Started by car, but it was stopped at many points by para military / military forces. There was a blast that day and every vehicle was being checked and searched. Just about half km from the airport, the car stopped. There were at least 20 vehicles in front’. The para-military forces have created a blockade and no vehicle was being allowed to proceed without full check. The check-in time was almost over, and I got worried. Got down with my bag, walked up to the barricade and crossed it after check. I requested one person who was proceeding to the airport after check and requested him to give a lift since my car was far behind. He agreed. I went to the ticket counter to find out whether my ticket is confirmed. 5 – 6 persons were in queue, but when I told them that my flight was due, they allowed me to check with with counter. Luckily ticket has been confirmed. I thanked the comrade who accompanied me and moved to the entry gate.
It was at this moment that the young man who gave me lift came and said that he has got more luggage than can be carried and whether I can help by taking some, since I did not have any big luggage. I was in two minds. Don’t know what is inside the luggage and I may be in danger. on the other side, had he not helped, I would not have reached airport at all. I took the risk, took the luggage with me and moved to the gate. The security stopped me, told me that the luggage is not mine, he has seen what happened and it cannot be carried by me. I had no other go but to return the same to the young man. However, inside I was relieved that the danger is over.
I went inside, got the boarding pass and boarded the flight. The young man also came and was in my next seat. I asked him what happened. He laughed and told me that there was no problem except strict checking, had to pay extra charge for the extra luggage. After all I could attend the meeting with the Communications Minister next day, arranged by Com. T.Govindan M.P.
However the meeting did not take place. Phoolan Devi, M.P. was murdered in front of her bunglow on Ashoka Road and the city was in turmoil.
Chhattisgarh state was formed in November 2000 bifurcating M.P. Consequently formation of separate telecom circle. Necessary to tour the new state. Started from Delhi on 17th December 2000, reached Champa Railway Station next day.(Though written Champa, people there call it Chappa. A big station.). Coms. S.R.Nayak, Circle Secretary, M.P., S.C.Bhattacharya, GS ITEU and many other leaders at the station. As usual it was journey in a vehicle, stopping for meetings at important places. First at Korba. Then to Ambikapur, many km away.
Vehicle passing through forest after forest. Chhattisgarh full of thick forests. During journey through the forests of Raighar, the driver, a young man, asked me whether want to see the place where Kalidasa wrote and staged his first drama. I was interested and told him ‘yes’. Every body interested, though already late for next meeting. None of us had seen the place. Driver knew the place well and took us through a very small side road for about 2-3 km. It was thick forest full of tall trees, as also many huge rocks. We went up on a very big rock climbing man made steps and got to the top. A small theatre carved out of rock, where some 20 people could sit. Stage also. Room inside the cave, probably to stay. Driver told us that it was here where Kalidasa stayed and wrote his first drama and staged in front of celebrities. The saying is that the King, Vikramaditya, invited him to Ujjain, where he wrote many dramas and staged under the patronage of the king, as part of ‘Navaratna’ celebrities. Later, I was told that every year, Kalidasa Jayanti is organised and inauguration will be in this place. When we went there 20 years back, it was isolated and there was not a single person there. But now it seems that the place has become popular with many tourists.
We returned to the main road, a fast drive, managed to reach Ambikapur, of course late. Comrades were waiting patiently and the meeting was held. During the next few days meetings at Raigharh, Bilaspur, Raipur, Bhilai, Jabalpur and so on, returning to Delhi by train on 22nd. Failed to get reservation, but got RAC in the train as a consolation.
Reliance Jio owner Mukesh Ambani rose to the fourth richest in the world, passing one after another during last year. This year alone, even during covid period, when crores of people have lost everything, his asset increased by Rs. 2,200 dollars. Of course the pro- Ambani decisions of Modi government has a big part.
Only Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook owners are above him.
A meeting of the Central Executive Committee of BSNLEU was fixed at Pune on 15-17 June 2005 and I had my flight booked. I reached the airport in time, checked-in and received the boarding pass. I saw Com.Chittabrata Majumdar, M.P. and General Secretary CITU, sitting in the lounge. I went and met him. Of course he was coming to inaugurate the CEC on our invitation. He was not feeling fell and was unable to walk. While I was speaking with him, the airport staff came with a wheel chair and was taking him to the flight. I also went with him assisting when required. We were lifted to our Indian Airlines flight and he was allotted a seat in the first row of the economic class by the young air-hostess. I requested her to allot a seat near him so that I can be of assistance, if required. She did not mind me and I had to go to my seat somewhat irritated, since the passengers were entering the flight. I felt very uneasy.
After the plane was in air, I went to the air-hostess’s cabin and spoke in a bit angry tone, why she did not allow me a nearby seat to assist my companion. All of a sudden her face became red and I was worried whether she was going to cry. She told me in broken voice that she did not hear me, she is new to the job and please do not complain to higher authorities. Now I was worried. I told her no problem and that I am not going to complain to anybody. In fact she did not violate any rule. I went to Com. Majumdar, but he was already sleeping. Did not want to disturb him. Came back. By the time we reached Pune, he was feeling better.
I learned one lesson. Do not be rude to anybody, especially to women.
Next day Com. Chittabrata inaugurated the CEC and delivered a meaningful speech. By He was was quite well and returned to Delhi.
From the Past – Com. Suseela Gopalan, M.P. & General Secretary AIDWA, inaugurating E.III (NFPTE) Mahila convention at Calicut on 29th November 1982. Despite her personal difficulties she managed to attend and inaugurate. She was the Chairman of P&T Coordinating Committee Kerala. While as M.P. at Delhi she took up a lot of issues of the P&T workers, met the Communications Minister and helped a lot. She also inaugurated a dharna in front of Sanchar Bhawan in restricted area despite threat of arrest. Just like Com.AKG she dared the police to arrest her. She left only after the dharna was over to ensure that we are not arrested after she leaves. She was available to the workers at any time of cisis. Whenever visited her official quarters at 20, Janpath, she never allowed to leave without offering a cup of tea. She was always a source of strength to all of us.
Red Salute to Com. S.R.Nayak, former Circle Secretary M.P. and AGS of E.III & BSNLEU on his 6th death anniversary! We remember you and your exemplary leadership of the union, your sacrifices and struggles for the advancement of the workers. You were always a tower of strength to all of us. Red Salute!