|Publication: Mumbai Mirror ;||Date: Sep 21, 2011;||Section: City;||Page: 4|
Relatives of Balaji Trimanwar allege candidates made to run 26 km without medical help; Vidarbha JanandolanMumbai Mirror Bureau firstname.lastname@example.org
He ran for a job, but ended up dead. A youth who participated in a 26-km run organised by the state forest department for aspiring guards in Yavatmal district last week died a day after the race. Balaji Trimanwar, 23, fell into a pit, apparently due to exhaustion, and never got back on his feet.
His family members allege that he was not provided any medical care for more than two hours, and this led to his demise. They, with the help of a farmers’ advocacy group, have approached the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission to seek compensation.
Balaji hailed from Yavatmal district. He was among thousands of candidates who took part in the gruelling run to qualify for interviews for posts of forest guard on September 12. Mumbai Mirror, in fact, reported this archaic recruitment drive of the forest department (Bhaag basanti, MM, September 13).
“Balaji was my brother’s only son, and he desperately needed a job,” said the youth’s uncle, Amrut. “On September 12, he left his home at 8 am to enter the race. At about 11.30 am, he fell into a pit and lied there unattended for more than two hours.”
Amrut claimed that forest officials took Balaji to a government hospital at only 4 pm. “When he was brought to the hospital, he was not making any movements. We then decided to shift him to Sanjeevani Hospital, where he passed away the next day,” Amrut said. Some forest officials, however, blame Balaji’s kidney condition for his death. Kishor Tiwari, the chief of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, said that 1,240 job aspirants fainted during the run because of the heat. The samiti has approached the rights commission to seek compensation for Balaji’s family. “This practice of organising the race is 130 years old; it was introduced by the British. The forest department should either chuck the race or pare down the distance,” Tiwari said.
RECRUITMENT DRIVE OR A CRUEL JOKE » The archaic and inhumane forest recruitment rule makes it mandatory for aspirants to run 26 km to qualify for an interview » Last week, thousands of candidates from Thane circle ran for the forest recruitment test in a single day » Those who do get these forest patrol jobs are unlikely to ever run 26-km as part of their working day » Applicants to the Police Service only have to run 6-km as part of their physicals » The National Defence Academy entrance requires no distance running at all
Balaji Trimanwar, 23, died in Yavatmal on Tuesday
Chintamani Karpat was among the many candidates who collapsed during the race