Facebook post by Mayabhushan Nagvenkar

‘Herald’ the ‘Voice of Goa’ and the newspaper which allegedly fights for your rights has denied a young woman in her last stages of pregnancy, permission to go on maternity leave.
Pls find below email communication between general manager of the Herald Michael Pereira and the newspaper’s Editor (magazines) Devika Sequeira (she has since quit over the non-granting of leave to her pregnant colleague) which shows the manner in which the request for maternity leave was so summarily dismissed.
Maternity leave is mandatory in government service as well as in private employment. But Herald has denied the young woman leave simply because according to the general manager “it has never ever been granted to any one in the past”. This is clearly an inadvertent admission that women employees at the Herald have never been granted maternity leave all the while!!!!!
The name of the young woman who was seeking maternity leave has been deleted from the emails for obvious reasons. But it does appear ridiculous that mail exchange for leave are copied to Brand Mentors, an agency promoted by Dattaprasad Shetkar and Abhay Mishra who are in the process of ‘shaping’ Herald as a brand. Fine job they appear to be doing.
But kudos to Devika Sequeira for taking a principled stand and finally resigning from her position over this issue.
My appeal to the Goa Union of Journalists is to take up the matter with the concerned authorities namely the state Labour department, the State Human Rights Commission and State Women’s Commission and ensure that Herald’s women employees get their maternity leave rights mandated by law. I am also copying chief minister Manohar Parrikar on the post.
The last time I filed a story about paid news in the Herald, the newspaper tried to sue me for criminal defamation. Wondering what they might come up now for bringing this out.
If you are a Herald reader pls find below board numbers to the newspaper. Pls call ask for the senior management/editor to protest the denial of maternity leave. If you are not a Herald reader, pls call/write all the same.

Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Phone: 0091-832-2224202,2224460,2228083
Board Phone: 0832-6518500
Fax: 0091-832-2225622

Disclosure: I have worked in the Herald’s editorial section from 2000 to 2003.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Devika Sequeira <[email protected]>
Date: 18 October 2014 11:58
Subject: Re: temporary replacement
To: GM Operations <gm@herald-goa.com>, Brand Mentor <[email protected]>

Mr Michael Pereira
Herald Publications
Oct 18, 2014

Dear Mr Pereira

??????? has applied for leave without pay (since you insisted the organisation does not have maternity leave) and followed all the official procedures in consultation with the HR department who told her how to go about taking leave for the delivery of her baby. Her application was sent well on time.

Are you saying an employee who is about to deliver a child and is the last stages of her pregnancy should come to office?

Your attitude is gendre-biased and shocking to say the least.

Devika Sequeira

On 18 October 2014 11:17, GM Operations <[email protected]> wrote:
Dear Devika,

In the first instant our company does not have a provision for granting maternity leave for long periods. It has never ever been granted to any one in the past. Hence your approval for ?????? leave stands null and void.

Further more we are not in a position to provide any replacements for the Review magazine at this moment.



On 17 October 2014 12:56, Devika Sequeira <[email protected]> wrote:
GM, Herald Publications
Oct 17, 2014

Dear Michael,

You will recall Zarine Ahmed who used to work here earlier as a reporter/ features writer.
Zarine was a good reporter and diligent in her work but had to leave over some health complications.
She is now much better and wants to return to work in the Herald and would make a good temporary replacement for ?????? who is on maternity leave till May.
Zarine would like to join Herald Review from now till June after which she wants to study for a year to do the BEd degree.
I hope you agree to take her on.