Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party(JKNPP) Chairman and Former Minister Harsh Dev Singh today submitted three different petitions in the PMO seeking the indulgence of the Prime Minister for ameliorating the lot of a highly exploited youth force comprising contractual, DRWs and other qualified under employed youth in the state of J&K.
Apprising the Prime Minister through the said petitions about the loot and plunder of the public exchequer by helmsmen in J&K, he pointed towards the most contemptuous treatment doled out to the agitating employees of the state including Female Multipurpose Health Workers (FMHWs), DRWs, casual and consolidated workers, contractual lecturers of schools and Polytechnics, NRHM employees, MG-NREGA employees, Wireless Operators, RETs, Anganwari workers, SPOs, Tourism and TDA workers, Asha workers etc who were deprived of even their negligible wages for periods ranging from 6 months to two years. And while the Ministers and MLAs had doubled their salaries, perks, CDF besides all allowances with process initiated for allotment of residential plots to them at both Jammu and Srinagar, the lower rung employees were forced to starvation on the plea of financial constraints, pointed Singh in his petitions.
Highlighting the deplorable condition of nearly 62000 DRW's, Need based workers and Casual labourers working in various departments viz-a viz PDD, PWD, PHE, R&B, I&FC, Health & Medical Education, Forest, Horticulture, Agriculture, TDAs, Social Welfare, he said that they were forced to work like bonded labourers without paying their meager wages for more than two years.
He said that they had been languishing in open protesting for their genuine demands of regularization of services and release of long pending wages but regretted that BJP in particular being an alliance partner in the government had forgotten its promises and failed to project the issues of Daily Wagers inside the Assembly. Deploring the miserable plight of the Female Multipurpose Health Workers (FMPHWs) who remained on strike for one month for the release of their long pending salaries, he said that the issue of their salary head under Health & Family welfare had not been resolved despite continuous hard struggle and the State govt. had divested them of their due wages for more than 15 months.
Expressing his anguish over the exploitation of thousands of NRHM employees seeking regularization of their services, Harsh Dev Singh said that these employees included doctors, ASHA workers, paramedics and managerial staff who were working tirelessly and selflessly on paltry wages despite all the difficulties they were confronted with. He said that instead of acknowledging their contribution in the implementation of rural health mission and improvement of health status of the poor especially of mothers and infants in the villages, the State government was treating them like expendables. Likewise, Anganwari workers and other lower rung employees were harassed by the sinister alliance who had been left in lurch under the open skies with no wages to them for several months.
Highlighting the grave concerns of SPO's working in Police Department, Harsh Dev Singh revealed that as many as 25000 SPOs across the State have been drawing a meager salary till date despite the tall pronouncements made by the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI regarding the enhancement of their salaries under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE). Maintaining that several SPO's have been rendering their services for more than 10-15 years in stringent and life threatening conditions, Singh vociferously advocated the enhancement of their salary to respectable amount besides regularization of their services. Drawing the attention of the State dispensation towards the agony of teaching fraternity all across the State, the former Education Minister divulged that the salaries of RETs, Teachers and Masters engaged under SSA and RMSA remain unpaid for months together and as a result, the education department was teetering on the brink.
Expressing solidarity with the plus two contractual lecturers sitting on chain hunger strike for the last 143 days which included majority of female candidates, he said that the protestors included PhD's, MPhils and double post graduates had been rendering their services with zeal and honesty in schools on paltry salary of Rs. 7000/- per month with a hope that they would be regularized to earn with dignity and honour. Singh also flayed the apathetic attitude of the dispensation towards the contractual lecturers of Colleges and Polytechnics who were also the victims of exploitation while working for a pittance for years.
Seeking early redressal of grievances of the said categories of employees, Singh made a fervent appeal to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the issue on priority to bring 'Achey Din' for lacs of family members who were dependent on such employees. He exhorted the govt to evolve a suitable job policy for all commensurate with its often repeated slogans and thereby assuring them job security and sustainable livelihood. He pledged that harassment of the lower rung employees shall be fought vigorouly by the Panthers party until rights and justice were assured to them.