Er Shahid ul Islam
I am unemployed from last year August 10th.The reason for this unemployment wasn’t Covid pandemic, nor I was terrorist or any anti social or anti national element. I wasnt working for government as employee too and I wasn’t on the rolls of J&K Government. I along with 19999 others were benefactors of a scheme run by J&K government.
The Self Help Group of Engineers Scheme was launched in the year 2003 for the Self Employment of the unemployed engineers, as a substitute to Government jobs for organising them into groups and allotting them construction works by various departments/agencies of the State Government.The first meeting in this regard was held on 06-08-2003 under the chairmanship of the then Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr Mufti Mohammad Sayeed where the Administrative heads of various departments participated.
Under the Guidelines, the Scheme was applicable to unemployed engineers of J&K State possessing valid Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering / Technology / Architecture in any branch of Engineering or three years Diploma in any branch of Engineering. The unemployed engineers required to organise themselves into Self Help Groups of 4 to 10 members. The Self Help Group were asked to approach the concerned District Employment and Counseling Centre for issuance of the registration card or its revalidation. 30 per cent of the total works of the Government Departments/ Corporations/Autonomous Bodies were earmarked for the Self Help Groups. A SHG was be entitled to execute construction work contracts/ supply contracts of civil/ mechanical and electric/electronic nature.
The Banks particularly J&K Bank were directed to lend loans upto 50 per cent of the cost of the work allotted to a Self Help Group against the work allotment letter. The implementation of the Scheme was regularly monitored at the District, Divisional and State Levels by the respective Monitoring Committees.
This scheme was a landmark scheme in uplifting the unemployed youth of J&K and providing them gainful employment. The scheme was a success as govt was getting the works executed through technocrats in a professional manner. Government had nothing to loose as a big section of youth was getting employed without any burden on it’s finances. We the self employed engineers too were not hankering behind govt jobs, one that we were earning their rightful bread and butter through this scheme and secondly the scheme strongly discouraged us from seeking alternate employment through various stringt clauses of Guideline
An order 752 -JK GAD Dated 10-08-2020 through which sanction was accorded to merging/ Subsiming of engineering departments was envigsed, a single line no less than an atomic bomb for almost 20000 families was included in the order which read as,
“The practice of reserving a proportion of projects for self help group of engineers is abolished forthwith”.
A lot was proposed through this order but govt failed in implementation because they were bound to fail like they are failing every second, every minute, every day post 5th August 2019.
If they succeeded in anything that was attacking and snatching the livelihood of 20000 engineers and our venerable families. Not only Snatching the means to earn respectfully but also leaving us in debit of financial institutions as well as of market.
For me and thousands like me this wasn’t less than a tragedy which had befallen on me and my family altogether. I was the sole bread earner for my family since my father had expired. After completing my Engineering studies from punjab, I had joined this scheme immediately to support my family as the real estate sector in India was struggling at that time. I was earning that much through which I could feed my family but this order had snatched everything thing from me. It wasn’t not less than a catastrophe. I had smoked four packets of Four cigarettes on 5th of August 2019, but on 11th of August 2020 when the order was out in public and I smoked about 7 packets of cigarettes whole night. It was simply nightmare, I felt depressed. Those were sleepless nights. My colleagues would setup WhatsApp video conference calls
to console each other. We protested,we raised slogans pretty unusual for us.
I called Commissioner Secretary Labour and Employment department, he replied that he had no idea. I contacted commissioner General Administration department and I was so much charged up, that when I enquired from him about the reasons of shutting up scheme, he replied he had no idea, I shot back and shouted, ‘sir you are lying’, he asked me my age, I replied 28, he consoled and told me that I was like son, why would have he taken such a drastic step. He talked about his contributions and steps he undertook for enhancing the scheme when he was Director Employment and Counselling.His short reply to all my queries was, to meet CS shab(Chief Secretary subramanyam). When I insisted if the order was his idea, he refused by saying that meet him, he can do something. I dropped several mails to chief secretaries office but the appointment was never given, even our colleagues from Srinagar and Jammu were not given appointment as they too had tried. I dropped several mails to Principle Secretary to LG for an appointment with LG the reply never came back. From denying appointment by CS’s office and by LG’s office I reached conclusion that only parachute leaders of, “Naya Kashmir” we’re allowed to meet them not a commoner, looser like me.
This order is among the series of anti j&k youth orders of Modi led Central govt and Lieutenant Governor led Government of J&K. Be it domicile law, Job law or recent order of CID regarding employment and passport verification.
The central Government and berucrates in J&K administration,drunk in power, who didn’t even think once before getting this order printed never got tired of crying about benefits post removal of 370 employment. The scheme was struck down when slogan of,Atma Nirbhar Bharat, was reverberating from PMO and it’s allies sitting in cozy studios in Noida. I want to ask these , ‘Tanashahs and Zille Elahis’, if orders like these were their vision for Jammu and Kashmir particularly youth.
Think about it, A forty year old unemployed engineer getting unemployed by a single line strike of pen. What would have been his answer to his Childeren and his parents. What would have been attitude of his neighbours and his relatives towards him….??? Think about it and feel it.
This is my storey, this is storey of 20000 like me. This is our tragedy. This is sage of pain and agony.This is frustration which we have been going through from last 365 days 24×7.We have never ever surended before the high and mighty. We will never surrender.Thats promise.
Mr Prime Minister, your catchy phrase of
removing,”Dilli ki Doori as well as Dil Ki Doori” is a Jumla. Which step have you not taken to alienate and subjugate youth of Jammu and Kashmir. Which job will we take up now, after giving up prime years of our youth for development of Jammu and Kashmir.If you have aspirational india, we are from aspirational Jammu and Kashmir and by this order you have buried our aspirations and dreams deep into the core of earth.
Thank you 🙏🙏🙏
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