September 24, 2020

Ray of Hope for scrapped SHGs

Though the constitution of an apex committee by Jammu & Kashmir Government to look into the issues connected with the scrapping of Self Help Groups (SHGs) of engineers in the construction sector of the engineering departments is a welcome move but it remains to be seen whether the committee recommends the restoration of reservation for these self help groups (SHGs) of engineers in the construction works of the engineering departments or not. Shockingly the decision to constitute an apex committee was announced only after an uproar in the parliament where Farooq Abdullah raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and Gh Nabi Azad sought explanations from the government in Rajaya Sabha. Forget about the creation of new jobs for the thousands of unemployed engineers, the government has rendered them jobless by winding up their self help groups (SHGs) established for their proportional engagement in the construction works of the engineering departments. Before Farooq Abdullah and Gh Nabi Azad raised the issue in the parliament, the top mainstream leaders and several civil society groups (SHGs) in their routine press statements and meetings with the Lt Governor and his advisors has also sought the restoration of their proportional representation in the construction works of the engineering departments, but the government did not bother to even look into the demand raised vociferously by not one but all the mainstream leaders from both Kashmir valley and as well as Jammu division. Had Abdullah and Azad not raised the issue in the parliament, the Jammu & Kashmir Government won’t have perhaps even thought about the constitution of a committee to look into the demands of the self help groups (SHGs) of engineers. Knowing that the scheme launched during six year long Congress-PDP coalition rule (2002-2008) for the self help groups (SHGs) of engineers has reduced the increasing frequency of unemployment in Jammu & Kashmir the Government should not have even thought about the winding up of the most popular job oriented scheme .

Unless and until the government does not involve and engage local populations in the execution of developmental works in Jammu & Kashmir, the trust deficit and the alienation of youth intensifying with every passing day can’t be overcome either in Kashmir valley or Jammu division.

Similarly the government has enforced a controversial policy for mining contracts just to encroach upon the rights of the local contractors for opening flood gates to non local contractors in a hostile job scenario in both  Kashmir valley and as well as Jammu division. The decisions spoiling the future of unemployed engineers and hapless contractors shows that how an arrogant bureaucracy in absence of a popular government is spoiling the work culture in both engineering and as well as non engineering departments.  Unless and until the government does not involve and engage local populations in the execution of developmental works in Jammu & Kashmir, the trust deficit and the alienation of youth intensifying with every passing day can’t be overcome either in Kashmir valley or Jammu division.

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