The auto rickshaw drivers’ unions from all over South Kanara staged a protest in front of the deputy commissioner’s office on Tuesday. The purpose was to remind the government to pay heed to their demands, which have been ignored by successive government since 2005.
General Secretary of the Dakshina Kannada Auto Rickshaw Drivers Unions’ Coordination Committee Mr. Vishnumurthy said: “We provide an essential service and are an integral part of the urban life. But when it comes to our welfare, no government bothers.”
The unions have submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, in which they have demanded that they be given all the benefits such as below poverty line ration cards, provident funds, ESI, health benefits, retirement pension, and housing loans that are being given to other unorganized workers. They demanded that their pre-insurance covers be raised to Rs. 1 lakh from Rs. 50,000 as well as educational scholarships for their children.
The protest was part of an agitation that had been organized throughout the state. Mr. Vishnumurthy said: “If the government does not heed our demands by December, we will launch a protest in front of the Chief Minister’s residence.”