In a scene straight out of a Kafka novel, a panchayat worker from Tamil Nadu realized that he had been pronounced dead by the district administration many years ago. According to a report in the News Minute, M Arumugam, a conservancy worker from Gudalur in Coimbatore discovered one day that he had been reported dead to the district administration.
The report mentions that he died during work.
Arumugam, who began working for the Gudalur panchayat in 1998 was due to be made a permanent employee in 2001. But around the time he was supposed to get his permanent tenure, he went on leave for ten days as he and his wife were expecting a child. It is during this period that the Assistant Panchayat Director to the Panchayat Director, S Jayachandranreport, issued a report stating that Arumugam had died at work.
Naturally, Arumugam was not aware of his 'death'. He stumbled upon the fact recently when he went to the panchayat office to get some documents.
"If only I had received the order making me a permanent employee in time, my son would have been studying now and not working," he told the New Indian Express on Monday.
As mentioned in the News Minute report, Arumugam has informed the panchayat about the incorrect report but no action has been taken so far. Many workers have also accused the Gudalur panchayat of not paying them the minimum wage.
Arumugam, along with a group of other workers, is demanding that the panchayat make them permanent.