After Firecracker Restriction, SC asks HR Depts to Stop Giving Employees Dry Fruit Hampers


After Firecracker Restriction, SC asks HR Depts to Stop Giving Employees Dry Fruit Hampers

Illustration: Ahmed Sikander

The Supreme Court’s restrictions on bursting firecrackers may have come across as draconian to many. But the court has a chance to redeem itself. For what could act as a godsend for a massive number of Indian employees, the court might soon ask companies to refrain from handing out dry fruit hampers as Diwali gifts.

The court will be responding to a PIL filed by a disgruntled IT employee who claims he has been getting kaju-badam exclusively for the last 5 years, and now has enough to start his own mithai shop. He wants the practice banned before he is forced to move out of his apartment to make way for another box.

“Every year I look forward to getting a Diwali gift, only to be disappointed, and mildly nourished later. My wife has threatened to leave me if I don’t get a gift that she can boast about to her friends,” said the employee, still unsure if all his legal efforts would bear any fruit.

His organisation, meanwhile, has found an innovative way to manage the situation. “After a co-worker employee expressed their displeasure with kaju-badam, our company added raisins to the pack to make it more attractive,” said a Delhi-based sales manager.

Citing environmental concerns, the SC had earlier read out a verdict asking those celebrating Diwali to burst crackers only from 8pm to 10pm. Corporate employees are now calling for similar restrictions on dry fruits.

Senior Manager Rohinton Kajuwala, who works in a media house, thinks kaju-badam is a good gift for entry-level employees. But those who have spent time in the company, deserve better. “They need to give us something that actually has value. Something that we cannot purchase ourselves, and yet makes us feel special,” he said. Taking cognizance of Rohinton’s suggestion, his company will be handing out cans of petrol this Diwali to all valuable employees/budding arsonists.

At another multinational company in Mumbai, a silent rebellion is brewing. Employees are planning a protest outside CEO’s cabin if they don’t get better gifts this Diwali. An employee of the company, Tamanna Hazare, threatened to go on an indefinite fast as a mark of protest, but accidentally ended it after she ingested some kaju dust from her workstation, leading to further protests.