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Com.S.K.Vyas – Legendary Leader of CG Employees & Pensioners

SK Vyas                                                                                                                    Com.S.K.Vyas, veteran leader of the Central Government Employees and Pensioners is no more. He passed away at 20.20 hours on 13th February 2015 at Jaipur Metro Hospital, where he was admitted after a massive heart attack a few days back. When I, along with leaders of the Central government employee’s organisations, Com.Giriraj Singh, Vrighu Bhattacharya, Gita Bhattacharya and A.K. Mehta went to Jaipur on 7th instant and visited Com. Vyas at the hospital ICU, he seemed better. The family members told that Vyasji was recovering. But by the night of 13th, Com. Vyas was no more. He left all of us never to return. He was 85.

Com. S.K.Vyas was a legend in his own time. Sri Krishna Vyas was born on 2nd February 1930 at Jodhpur. His father was Shri Balkrishna Vyas and mother Smt. Bhalki Bai. At college, he was an active worker of Students Federation. He married Krishna Pyari in 1947, at the age of 17. He was appointed at the AG’s Office at Jodhpur and joined service in May 1951. From the very start he was attracted to the Association and first became its Asst. Secretary and next as the Secretary of the Jodhpur unit.

He was well educated and qualified. He passed Bsc. Maths, M.A. in Political Science & History and also LLB. His entire life was a period of learning.

Com. S.K.Vyas became the General Secretary of Rajasthan unit of the All India Audit and Accounts Employees Association and shifted to Jaipur. He was also the Auditor of the All India Association from 1958 to 1967.

He became the Additional Secretary General of the All India Association in 1967 and shifted to Delhi. In 1971, he was elected as the Secretary General of the All India Audit & Accounts Employees Association. He continued as SG till 1981 and then as President till 1989. The leaders of the A&A Association Office bearers, including Coms. E.X.Joseph, Vyas and others had to face severe harassment and victimisation at the hands of the administration. Com. E.X.Joseph was dismissed from service.

Com.S.K.Vyas was elected as the Secretary General of the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers in August 1968, in the vacancy created by the resignation of Com.O.P.Gupta. He continued in that post till 2006 after which he functioned as Chairman of the Confederation.  He led the Central Government Employees movement for more than four decades. His name became synonymous with Confederation. He was the main leader who negotiated with the four Central Pay Commissions from III CPC to VI CPC. His contribution in finalising the memorandum to the VII CPC is also much appreciated.

These were periods of struggle, victimisation, disruption by revisionists, against unity and so on – a tumultuous period. The historic strikes of 1968, 1974, the sustained struggles against neo-liberal policies in the 1990s and 2000s – all are part of this period. It is a matter of pride that the Secretary Generals of Confederation after Com. Vyas – Comrades K.K.N.Kutty and M.Krishnan- have followed his footsteps and strengthened the CGE movement.

During this period, Vyasji functioned as Staff Side Member of National Council of CG Employees and contributed much for settlement of demands. He continued as a Senior Advisor to Confederation of CG Employees & Workers later. He was also a Staff Side Member of SCOVA, the official  negotiating forum of pensioners.

For the past few years, in addition to the issues of the CG Employees, Com. Vyas was fully engaged with the organisations of the Pensioners. The formation of the National Co-ordination Committee of Pensioners Association (NCCPA) was at his initiative. He was elected as its first Secretary General. Consequent to the resignation of Com. Shyam Sunder from the post of SG BCPC, Com. Vyas was elected to the post of Secretary General of Bharat Central Pensioners Confederation, which is the umbrella organisation of the CGE pensioners’ organisations.

During the presentation of Pensioners issues before the VII Central Pay Commission on behalf of BCPC, I have seen how clearly and strongly Com.Vyas was presenting the demands. He was respected by all for his sincere and dedicated service to the workers and his simple and all-friendly life.

As a Defence Assistant in many of the disciplinary proceedings, where employees are charge sheeted, Com. Vyas argued ably and got many of the charge sheets cancelled. Since 1987, he was practising in the CAT.  He helped many officials from harassment and charge sheets.

I have been in contact with Com. Vyas since the 1970s. Whenever I came to Delhi to attend union meetings/ Conventions, I used to go to the Confederation Office near Ganga Ram Hospital, where he stayed. Despite lack of space and accommodation, he welcomed and arranged for my stay.  He always prepared his own food, travelled mostly by bus and walked a lot.

Despite his age, he was healthy and used to be very active. He issued a Circular of BCPC on 23rd January 2015 in connection with the National Convention of Pensioners at Nagpur and had gone home to Jaipur. It was when he was in his house that the heart attack came, hospitalisation and passing away.

The legendary leader is not with us anymore. We are made orphans. He has left behind him, his wife, two sons and two daughters. We share their sorrow and convey our heartfelt condolences to them.

An era has passed away. An era of great leaders like Coms. K.G.Bose, N.J.Iyer, K.Adinaryana etc. who led the Central Government employees movement with correct direction and sustained struggles. Com. S.K.Vyas was one of those great leaders. His death is a great loss to the CGE  and Pensioners movement, which cannot be replaced easily. Our task is to continue the work started by Vyasji and march forward in the same path.

Red Salute to Com. S.K.Vyas, the Inspiration of the CG Employees and Pensioners!