TDN World: I am that Manoranjan Bapari who is the hard labour player. You guys may know me. Whole India knows me. There were no such frontline newspapers or magazines that did not publish one or half page about me. Almost all Bengali Television telecasted many times about me. RSTV even made a documentary film about me.
I am a Cook of a school hostel under the Department of Education, Govt of West Bengal. I cook two times a day for 150 students. Every day after eight to ten hours works in all seasons, I invest some time for writings. I published 14-15 books out of which two books namely ‘Itibritte Chondal Jibon’ and ‘Batashe Baruder Gondho’ were translated into English and published. Moreover, Westland Publications, a subsidiary of Amazon Eurasia Holdings is also working on my book ‘Batashe Baruder Gondho’ for translation into 9 different other languages for publications. For my services in Bengali literature I received many prestigious awards and prizes, such as West Bengal Bangla Academy; 24 Hours Annano Sonman; Gateway Lit Fest- Writer of the Year (Mumbai) and The Hindu Award (Chennai), and many more other big or small rewards and prizes.
Some of my writings also enlisted in academic syllabus in many of the universities. I was invited and was given opportunities to present my work and life by many dignitaries and famous personalities of many universities including JNU. I was graciously invited two times as a representative of Bengali Dalit literature by the world renowned Jaipur Lit Fest.
I cannot work or write now as much as I could do when I was young. I was strong and would do everything then. This is the first time that I would not be able to write in any of the Puja festival publications. I do not have that mental and physical energy to write something after cooking two times a day in front of four fire ovens. Moreover, my two knees are already replaced, cataract surgery of my two eyes are also done, on top of that I have high blood pressure and sugar. As a result, it is really hard for me to cook for the hostel students.
I was presented two times in front of the Medical Board by the school authority. The Board also agreed upon that I do not have that much physical strength and ability to cook in front of hot fire oven. Anytime I may have blackout, though it was happened before and I was admitted into hospital for 10 days when my left side was burnt.
I do not know why these people are not bit sympathetic to me, and they do not wish to give me light work instead of this labour intensive cooking job. Due to the health reason I could not work for two years and I was without pay. Since the school authority was not kind enough to give me light work, and there no other income source, I was bound to join the cooking job again. After some days I again became sick. As a result, I could not continue my cooking job. Since last January my salary is completely stopped.
I applied to present West Bengal government to kindly give me some light work, if not, give me incentives or award me voluntary retirement. I am roaming and running from one door step to another doors of higher government authority for getting a very small humanitarian claims. I met dozens of ministers and leaders including previous and current Higher Education Ministers, but everything was in vain.
I went and submitted twice every documents and papers to the Personal Secretary of Hon’ble Chief Minister at her Kalighat residence. I wrote to the Governor of West Bengal. The Governor issued written instruction to take a favorable consideration on humanitarian ground. Many people requested to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on my behalf. Being a scheduled cast, the Namasudra Vikas Parishad also applied to the government for the accommodation in my job. However, I do not know why my each and every appeal was turned down. I was not able to get any sympathetic humanity from the government till date.
So can anybody suggest me what should I do now? I do not want to die without food. Is it a big demand from me? I am not asking for any new job, I am asking for a light work or an accommodation in my job, if not then as per the law allow me to get my voluntary retirement. Is this my undue demand?
Could you tell me what should I do, please do not be silent, please tell me something. The sensible respondents in Bengal, please do something for me. If you could not do anything for me, at least call Didi at this number 9137091370. You guys can do something so that the authority may take some of humanitarian initiatives for some of these miserable labourers.
Yours-labour player, Manoranjan
Dated: 2nd August, 2019