The newly-appointed Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) — Dr Rishi Raj Bhati, who is differently abled — has been sent back to his parent department as the DDA said that the job involved “extensive outdoor duties” and that it “may not be in the interest” of the department. Dr Bhati, who was PRO of Delhi Transco Ltd, was appointed as the Director (Public Relations) of the DDA on deputation basis on November 15 last year. On January 11 this year, Dr Bhati was relieved from the post and sent back to his parent department.
WATCH WHAT ELSE IS IN THE NEWS
“…It is to inform you that the post of Director (PR) in DDA, by nature, involves field work, in which the officer may have to be present at various sites of DDA — like demolition sites, DDA parks, DDA sport complexes, bio-diversity parks etc. This involves extensive outdoor duties including physical work/movement of the officer in various situations,” a letter signed by M K Gupta, Commissioner (Personnel), DDA stated.
“In view of the above, continuance of Rishi Raj Bhati to the post of Director (PR), DDA, may put him in probable inconvenience and may not be in the interest of DDA also, keeping in view the nature of duties attached to the post. Therefore, Rishi Raj Bhati, PRO, is being sent back to his parent department,” the letter added.
Dr Bhati has now written to the commissioner (personnel) that the “decision to discriminate” against him on the basis of physical disability is “condemnable”. “I am an established public relations professional, performing similar kinds of duties for around 17 years with high degree of efficiency and to the satisfaction of the government authorities. Therefore, I disagree with your assessment and decision. The decision of DDA authorities to discriminate against me on the basis of my physical disabilities is condemnable,” Dr Bhati said.
“When I had applied, there was no such condition that a physically disabled person is ineligible for the post,” he added.
A senior DDA official said the position of Director PR requires strenuous physical activity for which “the official concerned was probably not right.”