Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Scores of youth Monday held strong protest demonstration in Press Colony demanding job policy and release of their salary.
Holding banners, they shouted anti-admin slogans. The protestors said that around 7000 youth from Kashmir were engaged by government in 2012 under union government sponsored scheme: Saakshar Bharat Mission.
One of the protestors who led the group while detailing about the work and modus operandi of the scheme said, “Saakshar Bharat Mission was launched by then PM Dr Manmohan Singh in 2009 and subsequently implemented in J&K in 2012.”
He said that under proper procedure and format, youth were engaged at different levels in a district to “eradicate illiteracy”. They have been associated with Department of School Education.
At Panchayat level, two youth, one male and a female, were engaged as Coordinators who are supervised by Sarpanch and Headmaster concerned. They are supposed to be paid Rs 200 per month.
Similarly, at Block level, one youth is engaged as coordinator and they are supervised y BDO who acts as chairperson and ZEO concerned who is member secretary. They are paid Rs 6000 per month.
At district level, 4 persons have been made coordinators. Paid Rs 6000 per month, they work under DC who acts as chairperson while Principal DIET concerned is member secretary.
The scheme has been implemented in all J&K districts except for Jammu and Samba. “Because of their urban development, the scheme was not launched in these two districts,” he said.
The protestors said that all the engaged youth were selected on the basis of merit and DCs concerned headed the selection committee.
Policy, we have been assured many a times to tell us clearly what to do
The protestors added that in last four years “they have even taught at 10+2 level”. “Because schools lacked staff and we were asked to teach such classes.”
Besides, they said, “we conducted all exams. We were posted to election duty as well.”
The protestor alleged, “the state government officials concerned have not been able to send Utilisation Services Certificates on time because of which funds are not released.”
The scheme is 90 percent funded by Union Government and 10 percent by J&K Government.
The Coordinators are supposed to “eradicate illiteracy from their areas”.
The illiterate youth who are taught by these coordinators are supposed to pass an exam to be able to move to next level. “We hold Learner Assessment Test (LAT) in March and August in a year and those who pass move to Skill Development courses,” a coordinator said. National Open Schooling (NOS) hold such exams and gives the certificates.
He said that the Union HRD ministry sets a target annually which these coordinators are supposed to achieve.
“We are supposed to receive Rs 200o per month,” a protestor said, “we received salary for first eight months only.”
“We are working as full time contractual employees but without salary for four years now,” they said.
The protestors said that they want CM Ms Mehbooba led J&K Government to come up a policy so as to save their future. “Many of us are now to cross the age after which they ineligible for government jobs,” they said, “we have been rendering services with dedication which Education Minister too confessed but now it is time for government to think of our families.”