Raymonds, Jitendra Joshi and Sarnaik - Eating the Cake and Having It Too

It had to happen, no surprise.

Pratap Sarnaik, the local Shiv Sena MLA, says that the retired Raymonds workers do not have money to pay school fees of their children studying in Singhania’s school. He has demanded that the fees of 320 such children should be waived. If this is not possible they should be given 50% concession in fees. Such a concession was being given to the workers of Raymonds, but since the workers have ceased to be employees, their children will have to pay full fees. [See Loksatta Marathi July 8]

Raymonds group which is run by Singhania family closed down the factories at Thane and have paid a hefty sum to workers for the golden handshake. Each worker has paid Rs 40 Thousand to 60 Thousand to the union as donation. The union led by Jitendra Joshi collected almost Rs 8 Cr by way of donations from the workers. It is well known that more than one MLA and belonging to different parties played a role in ‘settling’ the matter of closure.

Do you really believe that workers who paid a donation of Rs 40 to 60 Thousand do not have money to pay children’s school fees? The answer [presumably] is that the workers’ dues [about 70% of their total dues] will be paid over the next three years.

Why isn’t then Sarnaik asking Jitendra Joshi to pay school fees? [Incidentally he too has joined this bandwagon]. Or why is Sarnaik not paying it himself? After all Sarnaik had played a role in bringing about settlement. And why did they structure such a bad deal for workers?

Newspapers reported recently that Raymonds will sell the factory land for Rs 2250 Cr. to builders. This about 8.5 times the amount of workers’ dues – Rs. 263 Cr.

Sarnaik has warned that if his demand is not conceded by July 15, then he will settle the matter in Shiv Sena style. In other words, there is threat of violence or show of force at the gate an educational institution.

For those who are not in the know, Singhania School is undoubtedly the most renowned school in Thane which has given several doctors, army colonels and IT managers to the country.

It is time MLAs learn a lesson or two. And perhaps the Government can use the old method of teaching – use of a stick. But then it requires a will to govern and that cannot be taught.

Read the original Raymonds story here.


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