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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Power board wakes up to player woes

The Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) on Monday agreed in principle to grant preferential treatment to all its players in future appointments.

The electricity board, which has so far at best treated its players as irregular wage earners — who were summoned and sacked at will — said it would give priority to all those who have donned the JSEB jersey in all its future recruitments.

The Telegraph had on November 27 carried a story (Power soccer scores blackout careers) highlighting the plight of JSEB’s 18 star footballers who were left begging for jobs.

“The state power utility is currently working with 35 per cent of its total manpower requirement. Around 2,200 vacancies will be created are to be created in the near future. The chairman has assured us that all footballers, who have been winning laurels for the board, will be hired on a priority basis then,” Ajay Rai, president of Jharkhand Electricity Supply Technical Workers Union told The Telegraph after a meeting with Verma. He insisted that it was a small start but a big achievement.

“So far these football players were being denied even daily wage jobs by the company. However, Verma today assured me that he would take the matter up at the next board meeting, whenever it is held, and come out with a permanent solution,” Rai said. He added that the chairman had said official identity cards would be issued and all wages for players will be routed through banks.

Though, Verma could not be reached for a comment, Rai claimed that the JSEB chairman had promised that justice would be ensured.