New Delhi: As a childcare centre on the Supreme Court premises failed to get going, senior advocate Indira Jaising said women employees desirous of availing the facility were looking for an "effective" rather than a "showpiece" creche.
The Supreme Court registrar (general administration) postponed the inauguration slated for July 1, 2015, after a woman lawyer, Anindita Pujari, filed a petition on June 29 citing "deficiencies" in the creche.
"Instead of postponing the inauguration, the apex court could have called the petitioner for discussion. We don't want a showpiece creche. We have been demanding a creche (on the Supreme Court premises) for the past three years. The apex court never consulted me when it decided to set up one, and even when its inauguration was postponed," Jaising told IANS on Wednesday evening.
Pointing out the drawbacks, Pujari said in her petition that the admissible age for children has to be raised to six years from six months to two years at present. She also highlighted the need for a creche cum daycare facility and facilities for nursing mothers.
The proposed monthly charges of Rs.5,000 too met with criticism. "It's the apex court's responsibility to take care of its employees and the creche facility should be free," said Jaising.
For Pujari, the petition was borne out of her personal experiences. "I wanted other working mothers to gain from an initiative like this. The idea of the petition is to make it more effective," Pujari told IANS.
She pointed out that circulars issued for the posts of helpers and incharge did not prescribe any specialised knowledge or experience for managing the childcare facility.
"The desired qualification for helpers is Class 8 pass and a good sense of hygiene. Even for the in-charge, no special training is asked for," said Pujari.
She also pointed out that limiting the number of children at the facility to only 10 defeated its very purpose.
Another point of contention was no provision for meals and evening snacks at the facility.
"Even the salary fixed for the helper's post is only Rs 6,000 whereas minimum wages are Rs 9,048 for unskilled workers in Delhi and more for semi-skilled and skilled labourers," Jaising contended.