3,861 ousted KSRTC employees participate in Attukal Pongala hoping for govt help

Thiruvananthapuram: As the Attukal Pongala celebrations are underway across the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, around 3,861 ousted women employees of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is participating in the festival hoping for the state government to address their grievances.

The women were seen preparing a ritualistic offering for Attukal Devi in front of the Secretariat here where they have been protesting for nearly a month against their abrupt termination.

Speaking to ANI, Sandhya, an ousted KSRTC employee, said the women have been protesting for 31 days, yet no relief has been granted by the state government.

“We were working on a meagre salary of Rs 480 per day, yet we did not complain. Two months ago, around 3,861 employees were terminated without any prior notice or reason. Only we know how we are making ends meet. We have been protesting here for 31 days now, yet our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Today, we are participating in this festival, pleading to the almighty for our pleas to be heard by the government,” she said.

Attukal Pongala is a 10-day festival celebrated at the Attukal Temple here, during which there is a huge gathering of millions of women on a ninth day. These women prepare divine food made of rice, jaggery, and banana in earthen pots and offer it to the Goddess of the Temple – Attukal Devi.

In 2009, the festival found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest gathering of women (2.5 million).