Srinagar: The employees of Department of Family Welfare at old secretariat are on strike for the past 18 days against non-release of five month salary.
The employees locked the main gate of the directorate in old secretariat and threatened block entry until their salary is released.
President of Family Welfare employees’ union J&K, Syed Rafi told Kashmir Reader that they are fed up with following the release of salary, “We have not received the salary for five months. We are moving from pillar to post but still they are not releasing our salary.”
He added that from last 18 days they are on strike and despite being permanent employee they are not receiving salary on time.
“Last year we had a pending salary of ten months. We have to face this issue every year,” he said.
The employees include Female Multi-Purpose Health Workers, nursing orderlies, field workers; clerical staff which he said is backbone of rural health system.
“We are forced to borrow money, take daily needs on credit and even arrange money for those employees who have no run other source to fulfill needs of their families. How can we concentrate on official assignments when our pockets are empty and families are starving,” said a group of employees.
In June this year (two days before Eid-ul-Fitr), the employees received only one month salary that too after they ‘begged’ before the officials, “what is the fun of having this job when you don’t have a single penny in your pocket, it has affected education of our children, we are not able to submit their fee on time,” they said
“In a year we have a requirement of 125 crore but the government only provide us 44 crore which is not sufficient, Rafi said.
Their strike has badly affected immunization and home-based care for expecting mothers in peripheries.
The employees also said they have decided to withdraw from participating in the upcoming measles-rubella campaign, which is likely to begin next month and target 45 lakh children in Jammu and Kashmir.
Director Family Welfare, Dr Samir Mattoo told Kashmir Reader that the Government of India has on Thursday afternoon released Rs 20 crores and the salary will be disbursed within few days.
“We have also given additional 10 crore to the finance department in the second installment. It will take us two to three days to provide them salary. ”