Mother, son go on fast unto death to protest UoP red tape

For ten years, Pune University sat on Rahul Borude’s application to give him a job in place of his father Bhausaheb, who was the sole earning member of the family before he died of TB in 2004; they have even been denied pension

In the ten years since his father’s demise, 29-year-old Rahul Borude has kept up a steady battle with the administration at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), staking a claim on his father’s job there as a Class-IV employee.

Rahul Borude
Fighting till the end: Rahul and Indira Borude are protesting near the main building of the university

With his pleas falling on deaf ears, however, on Monday morning Rahul and his mother Indira set up camp near the main building on the university campus, vowing to fast until death unless their demands are met.

According to a 2005 Government Resolution (GR), the death of a government employee entitles the family members to claim a job on compassionate grounds.

Rahul’s father, Bhausaheb, had spent 15 years working at the university as part of the conservancy staff, until he passed away in August 2004.

A month later, Rahul travelled to Pune from his native village Salewadgaon, in Beed district, to claim his father’s
job on compassionate grounds. After a decade of running from pillar to post for the job, however, the university finally issued Rahul a single-page notice on Monday evening, stating that he would not be given compassionate employment because he had not made an application in time.

“My father expired in August 2004 due to tuberculosis. Within a month, on September 7, I had submitted my first application to the university, intimating them of my claim on my father’s position, as he was a permanent employee. When I did not
get any response, I submitted another application in November (2004). After that, they started demanding various documents, all of which I duly submitted.

But, nothing came of it,” said Rahul, adding that he had completed his education till Std XII, and was willing to do any work that the university gave him. The notice that University Registrar Dr Narendra Kadu issued to Rahul reads, “The university had sent the proposal to the state government regarding allotment of a job to Rahul on September 22, 2008.

The government had replied on April 7, 2010, making it clear that Rahul Borude cannot get recruited on compassionate grounds.” The notice further states that the university had informed the Borude family of the government’s order more than four years ago, on April 20, 2010.

Rahul and his mother are enraged with the university’s dismissive attitude. “Till yesterday, we had not received any written communication from any of the university officials. What they have informed us of now — referring to a government order from four years ago — if they had told us the same thing earlier, we would have given up on our efforts long ago,” said Indira, who has spent the past decade travelling with her son between Pune and their village, where they work on her brother’s farm.

University Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade said, “What I came to understand from the varsity registrar is that the Borude family had not applied for a job under the heir claim within a year of the employee’s demise, which is a mandatory requirement according to the 2005 GR.”

Not only does Gade’s statement contradict Rahul’s claim of having applied within a month of his father’s passing, it also begs the question — why did the government and the university take so many years to respond?

Rahul said he has a letter from the university dated April 26, 2006, in which the registrar had asked Rahul to submit the required documents.

“In the last ten years, the university has forced me to run from pillar to post to gather various documents and affidavits. I kept completing all the paperwork in the hope that, one day, I will get a job and be able to feed my family. But, now, my mother and I are firm on our demands, and we will not end our protest till death,” Rahul said.

Meanwhile, university officials are pleading helplessness in the situation. “There are some posts in university which get filled directly by the state government, and Borude was serving on one such post. Hence, the university has no role in giving a job to Rahul, as it’s not under varsity’s control,” said Gade. Despite several attempts, SPPU registrar, Dr Narendra Kadu, remained unavailable for the comment.

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