The employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), Kota, have sought that the Centre categorise them under ‘frontline warriors’ as they too have been working to maintain essential telecom services amidst the raging pandemic. The 65,000-strong workforce of BSNL have not even been vaccinated on priority nor do they enjoy any cashless health insurance for medical emergencies.
The staff of BSNL have drawn attention to the fact that there is no provision for any compensation for the families of employees who die on duty. Around 100 of their colleagues have already lost their lives to COVID in a span of a month, of which five belonged to Kota.
Interestingly, the majority of the workforce comprises people below the age of 45, and none of them have been vaccinated. They have been protesting against the Centre’s lackadaisical attitude towards the safety and wellbeing of BSNL staff. The staff have rightly pointed out that they are risking their lives and exposing themselves to infection while performing their duty amidst the pandemic. This is also causing stress to their near and dear ones. Therefore, the they need to be vaccinated on priority.
The employees have also been demanding that they be covered under the cashless medical treatment scheme so that they and their families can rest assured that their medical needs will be taken care of in case of contingencues.