Eight security guards working at a public sector undertaking in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district, who were not getting minimum wages despite their long duty hours and overtime, have received arrears for one year following the intervention of the District Legal Services Authority.The contractor who had hired the guards for security and surveillance duties at the District Milk Producers’ Cooperative Federation Limited paid them the arrears of wages to the tune of ₹2.48 lakh on Monday. He was earlier paying them ₹170 a day instead of the daily minimum wages of ₹197 fixed by the State government.The security guards came to know of their legal rights when the Legal Services Authority organised a legal literacy camp on the federation’s premises on May Day this year. Legal experts explained the laws for labourers’ protection and provided details of the State government’s welfare schemes for labourers on the occasion.Illegal actTwo days after the camp, one of the security guards, Lakshman Singh, went to the authority’s office and informed the officers there that he and his colleagues were being paid an amount less than the minimum wages. “Moreover, the contractor was forcing them to sign in his register on a higher amount of money, which was clearly an illegal act,” the Legal Services Authority’s Secretary Asha Chaudhary said.When Ms. Chaudhary sought an explanation from the federation’s managing director, he wrote back that full wages were being paid to the security guards. Not satisfied with his reply as the guards had produced papers to prove their case, Ms. Chaudhary wrote back to the MD, asking him to probe into the case.Following the inquiry, contractor Gajendra Singh came to the authority’s office and offered full wages and arrears for the period between May 2016 and April 2017 to the security guards, while admitting his mistake. The guards were Lakshman Singh, Naib Singh, Dharam Singh, Kana Ram, Bhagwan Singh, Indra Dev, Mukhesh Kumar and Dalip Kumar.