Jammu, 30-12-2017: Supporting the cause of the striking NHM employees, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and Former Minister today lambasted the govt for aggravating the crisis due to its dilly dally approach over the most genuine demand of the protestors for a suitable Job policy. He said that with medical services having been adversely affected due to the ongoing agitation, the lackadaisical approach of H&ME Deptt was further adding fuel to fire. Seeking a fair deal for them, he said that the contractual employees engaged under the Health Mission on paltry honorarium for several years were not only deprived of adequate emoluments but faced a highly uncertain future in the absence of any Job policy. He said that issuance of threats, use of police force and Lathi-charge against the said employees was no solution to the long pending demand of the said employees who had been repeatedly assured of settlement of their issues by the govt without initiating any step in that regard. He was addressing the protestors today at Exhibition Ground near Press Club today.
Terming the apathetic nonchalant approach of the govt as exploitative, Mr. Singh said that it would have to evolve a suitable job policy commensurate with its oft repeated slogans and thereby assuring them job security and sustainable livelihood. He said that thousands of highly qualified youth had been engaged on consolidated basis under NHM by the govt since the launch of the said schemes without revising their salaries or framing any policy with respect to their regularization. He said that such employees were made to work like bonded labourers on negligible honorarium despite repeated govt assurances of pay parity with their counterparts in the regular establishments.
Decrying the payment of lesser wages to NHM, Contractual employees against their regular counterparts, Mr Singh said that the govt policy was not only discriminatory but also violative of constitutional guarantees. He said that even the Supreme Court in a plethora of Judgements has observed that denying equal pay for equal work to temporary employees was oppressive, suppressive and coercive as it compelled involuntary subjugation.
He said that the Supreme Court had very categorically ruled that paying less wages to an employee as compared to a similarly situated constituted exploitative subjugation and hence violative of the fundamental guarantees enshrined in the constitution.
Expressing anguish over the exploitation of the young fraternity in the state, Mr. Singh said that thousands of youth had fled to other states for jobs and several thousands under-employed as casual and need based workers in various departments besides NHM including MG-NREGA Technical Assistants, Anganwari and Asha workers having been made to starve with no wages or negligible wages to them for several months. Similarly, the contractual lecturers working in the educational institutions since 5-15 years with the hope of getting regularized were paid peanut salaries and several of them had been ruthlessly terminated by the government after exploiting their services for more than a decade, he added. Dismayed over criminal apathy of the govt towards the protesting educated youth, Mr. Singh wondered that what kind of justice the alliance was doling to the youth where the anti-nationals were given compensation and employment while the educated youth were pushed towards starvation and other miseries. He regretted that rather than exploring ways and means for redressal of the genuine grievances of such employees, the concerned authorities had been resorting to unproved lathi-charge, threats and harassment thereby creating huge unrest and resentment amongst such highly qualified youth. He vociferously asserted that the educated youth with adequate qualifications deserved the government jobs and suitable regularization policy which was the prime responsibility of a welfare state.