They came to us with a symbol that is our livelihood and made tall promises, but they never once looked back
Two years ago, Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) leaders announced tall promises while walking in the narrow alleys where sanitation workers lived and looked to lure them with brooms in their hands. Sanitation workers who had voted for AAP then, however, are now dissatisfied with what they got in return in terms of performance and as far as the workers are concerned, after getting elected, AAP legislators never looked back.
Explaining why he and his fellow workers voted for AAP in the Delhi Assembly polls, Rajbir Gogalia, one of the sanitation workers says,” Hamare Valmiki samaaj mein janata bahut bholi hai (People in our village are very innocent). He adds, “They came to us with a symbol that is our livelihood and made tall promises, but they never once looked back,” as reported by The Indian Express.
A safai karamchari, there are some 25,000 in JJ colonies of Trilokupri, Pushpa says that since 2015 – since the AAP came to power, she has been struggling for money. Saying that she is going through a financial crisis for so long now that even shopkeepers have stopped lending to her. Shopkeepers keep their debit cards with them as security before lending money to them for buying groceries.
AAP’s unkept promises of normalising the lives of the sanitation workers have led to workers blaming the government for their grievances. Even the promise of regularising the contractual jobs has also not seen the light of day as the decision is pending.
Expressing his sorrow, another worker said,”Earlier anyone with 240 attendance was regularised and now people who have worked for 15-20 years straight are still working as contractual workers.”
Another problem that is raging is of delay in the release of arrears. Arrears are of much importance for these workers, it is money they use to lay the foundation for their house and for marriage ceremonies, they say. However, according to the officials concerned the insufficient salaries that are being paid and delay in arrears is due to insufficient funds. Incongruously, earlier in the week, while addressing the locals of the Badli assembly constituency, Kejriwal had taken a dig at his opponents by saying that unlike previous governments, his government is not falling short of funds.