Technician who worked on ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 now sells idlis
Deepak Kumar Uprariya, a technician who had been involved in the construction of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3’s launchpad, has found himself in a difficult situation. According to a report by the BBC, he is now running a roadside idli stall in Ranchi as he struggles to make ends meet. His decision to open this stall came as a result of not receiving his salary from HEC (Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited) for a staggering 18 months.
HEC is a Government of India Company (CPSU) and had played a role in the production of components for Chandrayaan-3, including the sliding door and folding platform. However, despite their involvement in such prestigious projects, it has been reported that approximately 2,800 employees of HEC, including Uprariya, have not received their salaries for the past 18 months.
The situation faced by Uprariya and the other HEC employees highlights the challenges faced by some workers in the public sector in India. The delay in salary disbursement has forced individuals like Uprariya to seek alternative means of income to support themselves and their families. It also underscores the importance of addressing wage-related issues and ensuring that employees, especially those involved in critical projects, receive their rightful compensation in a timely manner.
Deepak Kumar Uprariya’s story is a poignant reflection of the financial hardships he has endured due to the prolonged delay in receiving his salary from HEC. In his interview with the media outlet, Uprariya shared the challenges he has faced to make ends meet.
To cope with the financial strain, Uprariya initially resorted to using a credit card and even took out a loan of Rs 2 lakh. However, he eventually found himself declared a defaulter. Subsequently, he had to rely on borrowing money from relatives to sustain his household. Over time, this reliance on loans accumulated, totaling four lakh rupees, with the added difficulty that people were hesitant to lend to him further due to his inability to repay existing loans. As a last resort, he had to pawn his wife’s jewelry to cover expenses for a brief period.
In the face of these financial challenges, Uprariya turned to selling idlis as a means of generating income. He highlighted his wife’s skill in making quality idlis, allowing him to earn around 300 to 400 rupees daily from this venture, with a modest profit margin of 50 to 100 rupees. This income, though modest, has become essential in supporting his family and helping them survive during this difficult time.
Uprariya’s story serves as a stark reminder of the hardships faced by many individuals when they encounter unforeseen financial difficulties. It also showcases the resilience and determination of individuals who, in the face of adversity, find innovative ways to provide for their families and make ends meet.
Deepak Kumar Uprariya’s decision to join HEC (Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited) in pursuit of a more stable government job seemed like a promising step in securing his family’s future. However, his journey has taken an unexpected and challenging turn. Originally from Madhya Pradesh’s Harda district, Uprariya left his job in a private company in 2012 to work at HEC, where he had an initial salary of Rs 8,000.
The hope for a brighter future as a government employee has been marred by the distressing reality of not receiving his salary for a prolonged period, along with many other HEC employees who find themselves in a similar predicament.
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of this situation, as Uprariya shared in his interview with the BBC, is the impact it has on his two daughters. They are unable to pay their school fees, leading to notices from the school and even public humiliation in their classrooms. The teachers’ inquiries about the parents’ employment at HEC further exacerbate the emotional distress for his daughters. Uprariya’s anguish is compounded by the pain of seeing his children suffer and feeling powerless to change their circumstances.
Uprariya’s story sheds light on the broader issue of delayed or unpaid salaries in the public sector, affecting not only the livelihoods of employees but also the well-being of their families. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of timely salary disbursements, especially for government employees who rely on them to meet essential expenses and secure their children’s education and future. His experience resonates with the struggles faced by many others in similar situations, highlighting the need for systemic improvements to ensure that workers receive their rightful compensation.