A former woman conductor with Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) climbed a tree outside the state secretariat, in an attempt to commit suicide.
Dramatic scenes unfolded outside the secretariat as a team of around eight men tried to get her down. Despite initial requests, the visibly tired woman, 38, did not oblige. She was eventually calmed down by a few men from the fire department and brought down.
The woman, Dinia, is one among the 3861 people who worked with KSRTC, but were laid off from their jobs around 2 months ago, after High Court directives of giving preferences to those who have cracked their Public Service Commission.
"Dinia has two children age 3 and 7-years-old. She also has to feed her mother. She lost her husband 6 months back. She wasn't getting another job. And she got even more frustrated when she arrived for the protest but found the protest tent dismantled," one of the protesting ex-conductors told NDTV.
Around 150 former employees, who were laid off, have been protesting for last 30 days outside the secretariat. Their protest venue was dismantled by the local self-government a day ahead of the major religious festivity of Attukal Pongala - where lakhs of women line up on the sides of the roads across Kerala - cooking their offering to the deity. Attukal temple is also popularly kown as women's Sabarimala - where only women are allowed to take part in the rituals.
"We want our jobs back. We want each of us to be taken back. We have worked here for 10-15 years. At the age of 40 what other jobs would you want us to get. If they had sent us off a year or two after hiring us, we would have written some exam and found some job. At the age of 40, after 12 years of being a conductor, what job do they want us to do?" Sindhu L, one of the protesting ex- conductors told NDTV.
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