63 consolidated workers in Gurez receive meager monthly wages of Rs 750-1000

"Nobody listens to us, even when all the officials are well aware of the fact."
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Representational ImageFile/GK

Gurez: There are around sixty-three consolidated workers or helpers who have been receiving a meager amount of Rs 750 to 1,000 per month as wages in the Gurez medical block of north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

The workers, although designated as "helpers" or "need-based" workers, have been performing different roles for the health department in this mountainous area with some working for the department since 1997.

Official figures with Greater Kashmir reveal 63 such consolidated workers have been recruited in the years 1997, 2006, 2007, 2011, 12, 13, and 2014. The workers are maintaining "hopes" that they will eventually be hired permanently, even though the political regimes of the time made the recruitments temporary, according to official sources.

Abdul Samad Lone, one such consolidated worker at Badugam PHC in Tulail Tehsil of Gurez Valley, laments that he has been working as a consolidated worker since 2009 for 750 rupees per month. Samad has been working as an X-ray technician, performing round-the-clock duties, for fifteen years. "Our life has been ruined," he said.

"The government must take some initiative as we have families and children to feed," Samad added.He said that they have to perform duties around the clock like any other permanent employee of the health department, which restricts them from doing labour and other odd jobs. "We are hapless, and the government has left us to fend for ourselves."

They said there are two categories of workers: voluntary workers who receive 750 rupees a month and consolidated workers who are entitled to 750 rupees a month.

"Nobody listens to us, even when all the officials are well aware of the fact." The payment is not even regular, and "sometimes we have to wait for months or even a year together to receive the wages," Samad added further.

BMO Gurez confirmed to Greater Kashmir that these workers received wages of 750-1000 per month and were helping the department in executing different health-related services. CMO Bandipora also confirmed to Greater Kashmir there are need-based workers associated with the department.

However, official sources, not wishing to be named, said that the issue was prevalent everywhere in J&K.

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