Assam tea tribes and labour welfare minister Sanjoy Kishan gave an appointment letter to Pinky Karmakar who represented India as the torchbearer of the 2012 London Olympics.

On Sunday, Kishan handed over the appointment letter to Pinky for the post of a “contingency menial” in the Assam Tea Employees Provident Fund Organization (ATEPFO).

He presented the appointment letter to Pinky during a programme held at the Borborooah tea estate in Dibrugarh.

She has been temporarily appointed at the ATEPFO zonal office in Dibrugarh for a period of 3 months on a full-time basis for a consolidated pay of Rs 9,000 per month.

The appointment letter signed by secretary cum PF commissioner S Das mentioned that her services can be terminated at any time without assigning any reason there of since the post is of contingency menial category and of purely temporary basis.

It further mentioned that the appointment shall not entail any claim on her part for future appointments in the organization.

Pinky Karmakar said, “I don’t know how to react. I’m still not clear what the job is. It is very confusing. Yesterday they hurriedly gave me the appointment letter during a programme.”

“I was asked by the organisers not to open the envelope containing the appointment letter or to show it to the media persons. Later when I opened the appointment letter I came to know that I was provided with a menial job on a purely temporary basis for a period of 3 months. I don’t know what will happen to me after 3 months,” she said.

Currently, the 26-year-old Pinky is working as a worker at Borborooah tea estate in Dibrugarh for a paltry wage of Rs 167 per day.

Shunned and neglected by the authorities after her return from London, the plight of the tea community girl came to light after her precarious condition was highlighted by the media during the Tokyo Olympics.

In 2012, as a 17-year-old, Pinky was chosen as the representative from India to carry the torch in the London Olympics.

The class ten student from Borborooah tea estate in Dibrugarh was the only representative from India selected for the Olympic torch relay in recognition of the community work she carried out under the International Inspiration Programme.

Pinky used to run the ‘Sports for Development’ (S4D) programme in her school introduced by UNICEF for primary school kids and in the evenings she used to teach 40 unlettered women from the tea garden.

In addition, she was actively associated with other Unicef programmes to create awareness about child marriage, adult literacy and alcoholism.

However, for Pinky the joy was short-lived as she had to give up her studies mid-way after the death of her mother in 2015 she joined the Borborooah tea estate as a tea plucker.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com