New Delhi: Government employees in Assam, including MLAs and ministers, can avail of two-day additional casual leave this week to “spend quality time with parents, in-laws and other family members”, thanks to a unique initiative under the ‘Matri-Pitri Vandana’ scheme – roughly translating to ‘mother-father worship’ – which was introduced last year.
“Feb 9 to Feb 12 will be special casual leave for Mins/MLAs & state govt employees to spend quality time with parents & parents-in-law,” Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted Saturday, announcing the leaves.
He added: “An initiative by GoA to honour parents and strengthen bonds of love in families.”
The two-day leave has been given on Thursday and Friday, right before the second Saturday and Sunday of this month, to allow for a longer break to government employees. Last year, this special casual leave was given on January 6 and 7, 2022.
The purpose of the leave, according to the government of Assam, is to “honour, respect, give company and care to parents/parents-in-law”. The scheme is not applicable for employees who do not have parents/parents-in-law or for “personal merriment”.
“When the scheme was proposed to the cabinet by the chief minister, we all discussed it. A lot of government employees live away from their families. For many, parents live in villages. They work day and night,” Assam minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass told ThePrint.
He added that he was himself a beneficiary of the ‘Matri-Pitri Vandana’ scheme.
“Like government employees, even ministers don’t get time to visit their families. I have visited each state district to review various things. We don’t get time to meet our families. Sometimes, when I am in a nearby district for official work, I might meet my mother for a little while but I cannot enjoy a meal from her hands,” Dass said.
CM Sarma told ThePrint that the scheme was “important because we think that we must remain connected to our parents”.
“It will make us more sensible human beings” he said.
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‘It is a very good scheme’
Dass believes there is a lot of public support for the scheme and that it has motivated employees.
“It is a very good scheme. This time we have combined it with second Saturday and Sunday (of February). There is a lot of public support as well. People have congratulated us for it. It should be implemented throughout the country. Employees are also motivated. Naturally, they want to be in touch with their mother and father as well,” he said.
To avail the leave, an employee can apply online on the web portal of the Assam government.
“The Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has urged the government employees to make use of the special holidays in spending quality time with parents, in-laws and other family members. Government employees who are interested in this special casual leave will be able to avail by applying online,” states Assam’s Department of General Administration.
(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)
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