As people’s representatives exchange heated words over the common man’s miseries in the ongoing Assembly session in Jammu, 42-year-old Ejaz Rasool, instructor with the technical education department, along with half a dozen other employees, is camping before the television screens to hear the final words from the government.
For last two decades, Rasool and other 52 employees with the technical education department are waiting for regularisation. Engaged on contractual basis between 1992-94, the instructors, teaching hundreds of students in the valley ITI, were recruited on academic arrangement with consolidated salary, which remains same even after 19 years.
A group of employees has come all the way from Srinagar to Jammu to push for regularisation and are glued to the TV sets with the hope that their anxiety will be addressed. “The government approach has turned us into mental wrecks,” said Rasool.
Around two decades of dilly dallying by the authorities has taken a toll on social life of several employees. Born in 1957, Ghulam Muhammad, an instructor, lost his wife and raising his daughter has been difficult for him.
“She is of marriageable age now. With meager salary how can he marry her off?” said Nissar Ahmad, Muhammad’s colleague.
Another employee (name withheld) got divorced a few years aho after his in-laws realised he is not being regularised by the department.
“We all are above 40 now and several people have crossed the age bar of 50. We cannot apply anywhere. Our students are drawing more salary than us,” said Rasool, who was just 25 when he joined the technical education department in 1994.
The employees said technical education commissioner secretary Basheer Ahmad Runiyal promised regularisation recently but was transferred last week, dashing hopes of the candidates.
“We have given our blood and sweat to the department. On one technical pretext or other we are not being regularised. We are told that we do not comply with the service selection rules, which is enigmatic. The government needs to address our issue fast,” said Rasool.
Ironically, according to the report tabled before the Assembly, 18,817 posts are lying vacant in 18 government departments, including education department. More than 19,700 gazetted and non-gazetted posts are pending for recruitment with the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission and Services Selection Board due to slow recruitment process.