BMC fires PhD scholar working as manual scavenger on transfer request.

By Siddhant Mohan,

Sunil Yadav has an inspiring story. He works as a manual scavenger in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but is also pursuing PhD from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has faced innumerable challenges in his life to reach this stage, as we showed in our 2015 story on Yadav, but it is clear that the BMC does not want to see Yadav excel in his life. BMC has handed over a termination notice to Sunil allegedly after he made a request for his transfer.

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Yadav currently works in the D Ward of the BMC, but he wanted a transfer to M Ward because it would be closer to home. His request for transfer has been pending for the past three years but apparently, no action was taken on the same. Sunil wanted a transfer only because he spends too much time in travelling in between his college and his office. Sunil thought it would be easy if gets transfer near his home so that he might also get a chance to study.

On August 1, Sunil got a letter from the assistant engineer of D Ward stating that he had been terminated from D ward. The next day Sunil went to M ward to see if his transfer letter has reached, but M Ward did not receive any such letter.

Sunil told, “I went there to check if they had my transfer letter but there was none. I checked back again with D ward and found that I was relieved of my duties.” Sunil lives in Chembur with his wife and two daughters, and with the termination letter, he sees a disturbing and an unsure future ahead.

“I have to take care of studies of my daughter and wife. I have to pay my rent and manage my research as well, but with this condition, I do not know how to move forward,” said Sunil.

Sunil is also worried because he has been already granted a study leave of 142 days starting from August 11. If he does not get listed before that, there will be permanent damage to his job.

As per reports, a Junior Officer in BMC Vishnu Ghumare, working as Operator in BMC Bank is allegedly behind Sunil’s adversity. Ghumare is reportedly often seen with Maharashtra cabinet minister Vinod Tawde. On December 27, 2016, Vishnu and Sunil allegedly had heated argument in the BMC Bank after which Vishnu had beaten Sunil. Sunil suspects that Vishnu Ghumare is behind all the problems which he is facing currently.

“He does not want me to leave the D ward. He is a goon and a lobbyist. I had filed complained to Chief Minister, SP and every administrative official against Ghumare, but they took no action against him. Instead, they asked me on June 28 to take back my request for transfer. All because Ghumare has been involved in this matter, ” said Sunil.

Sunil was also denied study leave previously when he was selected in an exchange programme in the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in South Africa. It was only after the intervention of the Central Government that he was granted leave.

Sunil sees these cases as prime examples of caste-based discrimination. He said, “They don’t want me to pursue my research. But Ambedkar said: Do not live like a goat for 100 days, live like a lion for one day. I will continue to fight for what is right.”

Yadav, who did MA and M Phil from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) while working at BMC, is still unclear of why he was terminated from his duties. Moreover, BMC has called Sunil for a meeting on Monday, August 7 and Sunil hopes that his issue will be settled.