(G.N.S) Dt. 26
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will grant an additional paid leave of three months to women conductors during pregnancy, taking the total maternity leave offered to nine months.
The MSRTC said the policy decision to increase the maternity leave was taken after a few incidents of miscarriages were reported among women conductors. The corporation has also decided to offer pregnant women conductors the option of doing desk jobs instead of travelling in buses.
The MSRTC claimed it is the first government establishment to offer maternity leave of nine months. In its workforce of nearly 1.04 lakh employees, there are around 4,400 women conductors. MSRTC central public relations officer Abhijit Bhosale on Sunday said six incidents of miscarriages among pregnant women conductors were reported in the last few years, prompting the corporation’s top brass to revisit the rules. The rules framed on November 24, 2010, offered all women staffers maternity leave of 180 days.
MSRTC Aurangabad division controller Rajendra Patil said women employees will now have a greater sense of belonging to the corporation while discharging their duties. “The percentage of women in the MSRTC, including conductors, is growing gradually. The decision to step up their leave during pregnancy will send positive signals. It is progressive decision taken by the government,” he said.
Women conductors were delighted with the MSRTC’s decision. “Our bus routes are not always smooth. The chances of harm to the fetuses is high during work hours. We thank the top authorities for giving due consideration to issues faced by women,” a woman conductor from the Aurangabad central bus stand said.
MSRTC chairman and state transport minister Diwakar Raote is said to be instrumental behind the decision to extend the maternity leave. He could not be reached for his comments.
(G.N.S) Dt. 26