Panaji: The Goan Lifeguards who were protesting since fourteen months demanding job securities went on a fast-unto-death hunger strike on Tuesday. These lifeguards who were hired by Drishti company on contract basis now are unemployed as the contract is not renewed. They had approached the chief minister with their grievances but they did not get a redressal. Goa News Hub interviewed Swati Kerkar, who is in the forefront raising her voice for these lifeguards to understand the situation better. “We don’t want jobs on contract basis we want job security hence we had demanded that a registered society be formed of lifeguards in which they can be provided with employment,” said Kerkar.
Swati Kerkar also alleged that when these lifeguards were employed by Drishti the company would often turn a blind eye when it came to providing basic amenities to these guards. “Lifeguards have saved hundreds of lives but unfortunately they have never been acknowledged or congratulated by anyone,” lamented Kerkar.
Swati Kerkar also inferred that, CM Dr Pramod Sawant had earlier said he can provide them employment in Human Resource Development and later said he will provide employment for 2000 people and guards can apply to and based on interview they would be selected. “These are lifeguards who have not received formal employment hence their area of expertise is saving lives in the sea, they can’t be employed elsewhere,” said Kerkar.
The protesting Lifeguards have written to Chief Secretary moreover the Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat has also supported the protest. Many political parties including Goa Forward and NCP have extended their support to these lifeguards. Swati Kerkar has concluded by saying that they are on indefinite hunger strike and if anything were to happen to these lifeguards the government would be responsible.