By our correspondent
All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association’s General Secretary S.Venkateswar Reddy has written a letter on 31st January 2022 to all the 43 Regional Rural Banks and to NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) exclusively on the women employees’ issues.
That letter contained the following important issues:
- As per the extant instructions of GOI to all Banks, the women employees have to be posted / transferred at a place where spouse is working or nearest to the place of their parents, if not married or a single woman.
- Women employees are supposed to be posted at a branch /office where separate wash room for women with water is available and also the centre should have suitable accommodation with basic amenities like medical and educational facilities to obviate commuting from other centres.
- Women employees may not be sent on temporary transfer or on deputation to far off places, where she can neither commute nor she can stay singly in a new place with panic and insecurity.
- Women employees are not to be transferred / deputed in the mid of academic year or before completion of the term which cause serious hardship to not only to the employee but to the children and dependent elders in education and health issues.
- Women employees have certain special physiological issues and also family responsibilities, which need to be understood by the administration in conceding their request for leave, without raising sarcastic queries of humiliation to women. In case of sick leave or other leave on sick grounds, the Medical Certificates can be obtained later and the employee should be allowed to attend the ailment first without any stress and tension.
- Sabbatical leave is a women’s right to attend to family or personal needs and cannot be denied in times of need. It is in line with the special laws enacted by Government as per the Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India.
- A woman has both the rights, i.e. her reproductive rights, and also the right to employment. State or any authority does not reserve any right to curtail the freedom of a woman to choose of having a child. The managements must understand the enormous amount of physical pains and mental stress a women undergoes in a delivery.
- Women employees seeking maternity leave have to be sanctioned as and when sought, without any sort of queries or insulting / indecent comments. And the employee must be posted at the same place she went on maternity leave or in the same centre, without causing any mental agony of placement.
- Some of the RRBs do not recruit pregnant women and this retrograde condition needs to be withdrawn at once.
- Instances of sexual harassments or silent exploitation by deputed officers or other staff are rampant. Curtailing of any such incident and constituting a Grievance Redressal Committee by posting a woman liaison officer at Head office and at each of the Regional Offices are to be immediately addressed. All the concerns of the women are attended in all fairness and sincerity.
- RRBs are public sector banks of the country. Any disrespect to women will be most unbecoming as well as violating the provisions of the Constitution of India.
It is heartening to note that on 8th March 2022, NABARD has forwarded this letter of AIRRBEA to all the Regional Rural Banks and the sponsor Banks with a note “We are enclosing a copy of letter No. 25 dated 31 January 2022 received from All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association, Hyderabad, which is self-explanatory, for your information and further necessary action, if any. The Sponsor Banks may please guide the sponsored RRBs appropriately in the matter”.
It is hoped that all the discriminations against women in RRBs will end in the near future. The Units and their district committees need to be vigilant to see that these are implemented meticulously.