news Saturday, December 06, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 17, 2014 | 12:00 pm IST Brinda Karat, the first woman member of the CPM politburo and former member of the Rajya Sabha, questioned Tirupati’s labour rules in her blog on Sunday. In an article published in the Times of India, she breaks down how Tirupati, which is one of the most spiritual places for Hindu’s in this country, has no consideration for its employees. The temple’s annual revenue is 2,500 crore making it the richest temple in the world. However, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) which manages the temple has unfair labour practices, Karat points out.Some of the main points she makes are, 1) She highlights that only Vaishnava Brahmins are allowed to make the famous laddoos and questions if the laddoo makers have to belong to any particular caste? Aren't casteist practices prohibited by law? 2) She also emphasizes that the sanitation workers are paid less than Rs 6,500 a month. They have no benefits, no ESI, no provident fund and not even a weekly off. 3) She adds that While 50 regular employees earn around Rs 25,000 a month, the rest of the 600 workers on contract do the same work for less than one-third the amount. 4) And the unkindest cut of all, according to her is that while regular employees enjoy the privilege of free darshan, contract employees have to pay for it. She concludes questioning the management and the state government and adds that the army of workers who make the Tirupati experience unique should be treated with respect and dignity. Also read - Alleged Christian proselytisation atop Tirumala sparks controversy

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