24 December 2006

Social Climate

There is no doubt that the improvement in communications is leading to the increasing empowerment of many of the local populace. As recently as 10 years ago STD facilities at Tiruvannamalai were rare and the waiting list for a home phone (if one could afford it) was often over 6 months. Few Trade Unions had active wings in the area and the term 'social welfare' was synonymous not with Government aid, but 'being looked after by the family'. As well as the below there have been other recent agitations regarding; improving conditions of work, wages, welfare benefits and the disbursal of funds.

The construction workers wing of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) staged a demonstration at Tiruvannamalai on Thursday (21st December) demanding the implementation of welfare measures promised by the Welfare Board established on their behalf.

Participants of the demonstration protested that 5,200 pension applications of aged workers have been rejected and thousands of claims, seeking assistance for education, marriage, maternity and death of workers or family members have also been rejected. Demonstrators also protested about the inordinate delay in processing applications seeking various welfare measures.

Arts College

Students of Tiruvannamalai Government Arts College boycotted classes on Thursday (21st December) urging Authorities to hold Student Union elections. They also demanded immediate disbursal of scholarship amounts.

To press their demands, students congregated on Chengam Road near the Government Arts College but police quickly rushed to the spot and dispersed the students. The students then boycotted classes and left the grounds of the College Campus.

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