SBM employees end hunger strike

SBM employees end hunger strike
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Observe International Literacy Day as ‘black day’

ARIF RASHID

SRINAGAR: The contractual employees working under centrally-sponsored scheme Saakshar Bharat Mission (SBM) ended their hungry strike on Saturday. They also observed the International Literacy Day as ‘black day’.
Scores of protesters from various districts of Kashmir valley assembled here at Pratap Park and shouted slogans against the state government for “not fulfilling” their “genuine” demands.
As the protesters tried to march towards the Raj Bhavan – the official residence of Governor – in order to register their protest, the police swung into action and detained some of the employees.
“We have completed six years of service in the education department, but government is insensitive towards our demands. We approached the higher officials of the department several times but to no avail,” said the president of All J&K Saakshar Bharat Mission Mission (SBM) Employees Forum Ishfaq Ahmad Shah.
He said nearly 6000 youths were appointed on a contractual basis under this centrally-sponsored scheme. “They were appointed at block and panchayat levels on merit basis,” he said.
Shah said the scheme was introduced to enhance literacy in the state. “We worked very hard for it, even in the remotest areas of the state,” he said, adding, “We are observing the International Literacy Day as a black day.”