Daily Wagers in J&K: Broken promises, shattered lives

Exploited by successive Govt’s, workers hopeful of regularization, regular wages

JK News Today

Jammu, December 16:

At a time when politicians and bureaucrats are seeking and getting many fold increments of salaries , perks and additional privileges in cash and kind, the story of Amina Begum (52) and Ghulam Mohammad Shah (55), Daily Rate Workers (DRW) in Public Health Engineering (PHE) department shows the real face of discrimination, apathy and continued exploitation faced by thousands of workers by successive governments.

Both the elderly daily wagers are working in Thatri area of Kishtwar for last 22-years and are still hopeful of permanent job and regular salary as promised by successive governments.

Dejected both of them have come all the way to Jammu to joins thousands of others of their like on strike for last three months who want final decision of their destiny.

Both of them have seen and experienced  tenure of several Chief Ministers, from Farooq Abdullah, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and now Mehbooba Mufti but none of them have fulfilled the promised made to these poor people.

Amina though still hopeful of some respite to her agony is yet to get monthly wage of Rs 4500 for last three years slapping further misery to her life. Her only hope of survival is her  son who works as driver in private transport company to run the household.

daily-wagers

“I served the department for the last 22 years and as per the SRO 64 of J&K,  government had to regularize workers after seven years of continued service but that has not happened”, said Amina.

Though talks between striking workers and government ended in deadlock following failure of Minister for PHE, Sham Choudhary to give any commitment for streamlining wage payment and starting regularization process but despite hardships, DRW are resisting the pressure from government.

“This time we have decided to continue our agitation till our demands are not met. It is 96th day of strike and lets hope that PDP-BJP government takes up our issue”, said Ghulam Mohamamd, a resident of Puhi area of Kishtwar. He is working as daily wager for last 25 years having one son working as labourer.

Nearly 20,000 Daily Rate Workers (DRW) suspended work to press PDP-BJP coalition to accept the sub-committee report prepared by previous NC-Congress coalition government in 2009.

Since 1995, successive governments have promised the daily wagers of various departments that regularization process will be implemented but it was never started.

Criteria for regularization of DRWs was provided in SRO-64 of 1994 and the conditions for regularization include that a worker should be a permanent resident of state and possess prescribed academic and technical qualification for post against which he is required to be regularized.

 

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