The former employees of Preet Mandir, an adoption agency facing a CBI inquiry into its functioning, have approached the labour commissioner’s office demanding benefits of provident fund and gratuity. The 36 staffers had been asked to leave after the inquiry was ordered into an alleged adoption racket.
According to a letter submitted to the commissioner and the Regional Provident Fund Office, the employees were working on various posts at Preet Mandir, which was run by the Balwant Kartar Anand Foundation. The applicants include employees who worked as nurses, office assistants, attendants, electricians and child care supervisors.
Post the inquiry and cancellation of foreign licence for adoptions, and shifting of children and records to the Kalyani Nagar branch of Preet Mandir, most of the staff had been asked to leave. “Our grievances are that the institution has been working in the state for more than 30 years with more than 300-400 employees at its branches in Kalyani Nagar, Aurangabad, Sai Dham and Goa. They had not started the PF scheme as per rules and since we were asked to leave on a day’s notice, we are the sufferers,” said the letter.
The case was admitted by the labour commissioner’s office on January 18, following which the hearing was scheduled for February 11.
The office has fixed the next hearing on February 28.
An employee who went to the labour commissioner’s office for the hearing on Monday said they wanted the PF office and the labour commissioner to instruct the management to compensate them for the provident fund amount so that they could take care of their families.
Officials from Preet Mandir said they had shifted 37 children to the Kalyani Nagar branch. Of them, 20 children are disabled and the remaining are in the age group of 7-12 years who cannot be adopted by families living in India.
“We do not have the inter-country licence, and the new guidelines of 2011 state that they have to rehabilitated to other government homes,” said an official.
Managing trustee of the foundation D P Bhatia said he was yet to receive a copy of the application submitted to the labour commissioner’s office. “I would want to comment only after I receive it. However, after receiving some details from the labour commissioner’s office, I would want to state that most of these employees have left in the last two years or before that after a full-and-final settlement. If there is any pendency, we would look at each case individually,” he said.