AIESL makes dad work with­out pay while baby needs ur­gent treat­ment

» Father, Anand Wagh­mare, re­sumes work only so that he can pay for his daugh­ter’s life-sav­ing treat­ment, but com­pany does not pay salary, claim­ing he owes them money

Mid Day - - City - VINOD KU­MAR MENON vin­[email protected]

WHIS­TLE-blower Anand Wagh­mare, 42, and his fam­ily con­tinue to pay for his ef­forts to ex­pose cor­rup­tion in the com­pany he works, Air In­dia Engi­neer­ing Ser­vices Ltd (AIESL). Af­ter arm-twist­ing him to move from Mum­bai to Nag­pur, dis­con­tin­u­ing treat­ment for his crit­i­cally ill baby, now it turns out the com­pany has been mak­ing him work for free. For the past two months, AIESL has not paid salary to Anand, claim­ing in­stead that he owes them R4.5 lakh.

mid-day has been re­port­ing on the plight of Anand and his sev­en­month-old daugh­ter El­iza’s plight since Oc­to­ber 2018, high­light­ing how the com­pany abruptly trans­ferred him from Mum­bai to Nag­pur and re­fused to let him be with his wife and child af­ter a com­pli­cated de­liv­ery. When he re­turned to Mum­bai for his loved ones’ treat­ment, the com­pany stopped pay­ing him salary. His em­ploy­ers showed no com­pas­sion even af­ter baby El­iza was di­ag­nosed with life-threat­en­ing hy­dro­cephalus (fluid build-up in the brain). In­stead, they put Anand un­der in­quiry for go­ing to Mum­bai to be with his fam­ily.

Af­ter nearly a year with­out salary, Anand moved his fam­ily back to Nag­pur, so that he could re­sume work from De­cem­ber 17, 2018. This meant that El­iza’s on­go­ing treat­ment at Cooper Hospi­tal has to be stopped. In Nag­pur now, Anand and his wife Jayanti have been forced to drain the ex­cess fluid from their daugh­ter’s brain them­selves, be­cause they have been un­able to find a neu­ro­sur­geon able to do it.

No salary again

Af­ter mak­ing all these sac­ri­fices, he has not even been paid. On Fri­day, for the sec­ond month since he re­turned to work, he re­ceived a payslip with neg­a­tive bal­ance of R2,667 (an amount that the com­pany claims Anand owes them). In the first month’s salary slip, AIESL had claimed he owed the com­pany R4.5 lakh.

Anand said, “I don’t un­der­stand how my salary slip shows neg­a­tive bal­ance, as I have never taken any ad­vance, nor was I paid any salary since April 2018. [At this rate] how can I con­tinue treat­ment for my sick baby?”

Many dis­crep­an­cies

Even the cal­cu­la­tions on AIESL’s end are strange, as the pur­ported dues some­how went from R4.5 lakh to less R3,000

In his lat­est email, Anand wrote, “I haven’t re­ceived my salary since April 2018, and only got salary slips on my email. As per the salary slips, I have been paid salary all those months, but where is the money?”

Mean­while, says Anand, AIESL con­tin­ues to mount pres­sure on him to with­draw all al­le­ga­tions against the com­pany. Ad­vo­cate Ra­jesh­war Pan­chal, who is rep­re­sent­ing Anand in the Bom­bay High Court, said, “This is a clear case of dou­ble stan­dards. On one hand, the coun­sel for the man­age­ment is keen for a set­tle­ment, and on the other, the man­age­ment con­tin­ues to ha­rass the pe­ti­tioner men­tally and emo­tion­ally, by not giv­ing him work and not pay­ing salary, es­pe­cially at a time when he is in dire need of funds to pro­vide ba­sic med­i­cal treat­ment to his ail­ing daugh­ter.”

The other side

A se­nior man­age­ment of­fi­cial from AIESL said, “We have di­rected the per­son­nel depart­ment and our coun­sel to do the need­ful sub­ject to Anand with­draw­ing his com­plaints/al­le­ga­tion. How­ever, I will have to re­vert on this spe­cific de­tails about salary not be­ing paid.”

Anand has al­ready ex­pressed his dis­agree­ment to any set­tle­ment.

Baby El­iza’s head con­tin­ues to swell upon dis­con­tin­u­ing her treat­ment in Mum­bai

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