Domestic breeding checkers (DBC) in Tamil Nadu, responsible for conducting door-to-door surveys to identify mosquito breeding sources, are demanding a monthly salary instead of daily wages. The DBC workers have expressed their concerns about discrepancies in the pay structure and have called on the state government to maintain a consistent pay scale across the state.
The pay structure for DBC workers is determined by the town panchayat, municipality, or corporation where they are assigned. Currently, the workers are paid daily wages ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 300, depending on their locality or panchayat. DBC workers are required to visit at least 50 houses each day to identify breeding sources.
The demand for a monthly salary comes as the state is grappling with a surge in dengue cases. The Tamil Nadu Dengue KosuPuzhu Olippu Munkala Paniyalar Sangam has been advocating for equal pay for DBC workers across the state. State President K Jayavel stated, “We are now given daily wages, which varies depending on the locality. A monthly salary would provide stability and ensure that workers are not struggling to make ends meet.”
The strenuous nature of the job is further compounded for DBC workers in remote areas, where proper bus facilities are lacking. Some workers are forced to depend on their own vehicles, incurring additional expenses due to rising fuel prices. For workers traveling to remote locations, the distance can be as far as 45 kilometers.
The significance of DBC workers in controlling mosquito-borne diseases cannot be underestimated. Their role in identifying and eliminating breeding sources is crucial in preventing the spread of diseases like dengue. The Doctor’s Association for Social Equality has joined the call for a monthly salary of at least Rs 21,000 for DBC workers, recognizing the importance of their work in public health.
The majority of DBC workers are employed by local bodies and are called upon as per need. The health department, while acknowledging the concerns of the workers, emphasized that they are not engaged in continuous employment. Ensuring a fair and consistent pay structure for DBC workers would not only address their grievances but also incentivize their vital work in protecting public health.
– Tamil Nadu Dengue KosuPuzhu Olippu Munkala Paniyalar Sangam
– Dr G R Ravindranath, state secretary of the Doctor’s Association for Social Equality
– Statement by a senior official from the health department