Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:
After a day’s lull, they are back. Notwithstanding the premature end to the winter session of the Assembly, thousands of protestors swarmed the Lower PMG square, which wore a deserted look on Tuesday, here on Wednesday.
Holding placards and shouting slogans, they were seen doing what they know best; protest for fulfilment of their long-standing demands. After the deafening silence yesterday, loudspeakers were back in business again today.
“Around 3000 members from across the state were present today to protest for the fulfilment of our nine-point of charter of demands,” said Anjali Patel, State general secretary (GS) of All Odisha Anganwadi Ladies Workers Association (AOALWA).
“The Assembly may have been adjourned sine die. But that will not affect our long-standing protest. We have got permission to stage a demonstration today and that’s what we are doing,” Patel said.
“If the demands are not met, we will continue to agitate at the block and panchayat level in the State from January,” she added.
AOALWA was, however, not the only organisation that agitated at the customary protest venue in front of the Assembly today. Odisha Non-regular Forest Employees Association general secretary Lingaraj Patnaik, along with his supporters, also staged a demonstration at the place demanding permanent jobs for those who have completed 10-22 years of service.
There were others too. Hundreds of members of National Confederation of Dalit organisation, All Odisha Inclusive Education Volunteer Association, All Odisha Plus Two Vocational Teachers’ Association, Odisha Temporary Launch Driver and Khalasi Mahasangha, Kalinga National Front and Nikhila Odisha NCLP Karmachari Sangha also staged rallies and demonstration in front of the assembly pressing their demands before the state government.