Casual workers of Nandankanan zoo on indefinite strike

February 11th, 2009 - 8:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 11 (ANI): Casual workers at the Nandankanan Biological Park in Orissa have gone on an indefinite cease work agitation over a demand for regularization of their jobs. This has caused hardship to about 1200 animals at the zoo.
The casual workers said that their job involved risks and complained of not receiving any health or social security benefits. “We do not have any kind of healthcare facilities at all. In case of any mishap, there is no such relief,” said Bhaskar Samal, a contractual employee.
The authorities, however, claimed that they have made alternative arrangements.
The further said that a few NGOs have been approached for help to provide food to the animals.
Visitors at the zoo were not convinced about the regular upkeep of animals.
“If the strike has been going on for long, then it will definitely affect the animals. As the animals stay inside closed enclosures, and if they are not taken care of properly, then it will severely affect their health,” claimed Sunita, a visitor.
The casual employees have been agitating since February 8. They claimed that the remuneration of 2,100 rupees per month was grossly inadequate. The Nandankanan Zoo, which is spread over 1,940 square kilometres, is home to over 67 species of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds.
The zoo enjoys an international reputation for breeding white tigers, black panthers and crocodiles in captivity. (ANI)

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