Thiruvananthapuram: Rakhi PV, a resource teacher at the Kodungallur government high school in Thrissur, Kerala, is elated to win the fight against the government over maternity leave as the state government recently brought out a gazette notification sanctioning maternity leave for six months with full benefits for all contractual government employees.
The government order came almost after two years of the Kerala High Court ruling on the matter.
When she was pregnant in 2017, Rakhi, along with six other teachers, had filed an appeal seeking maternity leave for six months after her requests were not even considered by the state government, Kerala Women's Commission and the Kerala State Human Rights Commission.
Rakhi, who was working as a resource person at the Nattika school in Thrissur at the time, told IANS, "When I was pregnant, I had tried all options to get maternity leave extended from three months to six months but no one was supportive. In July 2017, I gave birth to a baby boy and the government had sent me a notice to join the school in October."
"I had no other option but to approach the court, but my lawyer was also dismissive and said that the government might even cancel my contract. However, with the support of my family, I moved the court," Rakhi said.
"The state government had filed an appeal in the division bench of the Kerala High Court against the order of the single bench when only 10 days were left for my maternity leave to end," she said, adding that she had decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court but the division bench of the Kerala High Court, in a landmark verdict, allowed maternity leave with full benefits for all contract employees.