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Casual Labourer’s melancholy;what it means to be a Daily Wager in Kashmir

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Inside a single story house located in the Srinagar outskirts is Firdous Ahmad, busy playing with his two daughters. In his home, the mood is jubilant with relatives offering greetings to Firdous and his wife.
Firdous is one among the 61 thousand daily wagers whose services have been finally confirmed by the state government and who shall from now be eligible to draw a fixed salary along other service benefits. However, the much awaited government announcement has made Firdous nostalgic, opening up the deep wounds of the past and the every struggle he had to overcome while working as a need based employee. “When you have a wife and two daughters, only God knows what it is like to sustain on meagre 4000 rupees a month,” Firdous told KNS.
A computer graduate, Firdous was offered a job at R&B as a computer operator on the monthly wage of Rs 2500, in the year 2005. Confident and enthusiastic, Firdous accepted the offer. He says he was optimistic that his skills would pave way for his regularisation soon. Months passed and then years, Firdous kept working in the department from 10 to 4 without fatigue and least display of exhaustion. “I worked three times more than that of the permanent employees. Even they used to leave bundles of files on my table and would task me to complete the most rigorous works in the office. I never turned my head away. I accepted every task I was entrusted upon,” recalls Firdous.
He says soon after he got married, responsibilities spiked and so did the expenditures. A year later, he was the father of twin daughters. I can’t even tell you my feelings then, says Firdous and added, “I was happy and I was even worried over the fate of my family. People would spend double the amount of my monthly wages for fuel in their cars.”
He says he vividly remembers how the previous regimes in the state undermined the sufferings of the daily wagers and of their families. “I even remember the time when Naeem Akhtar sahib in 2015 termed us the mess of the previous governments. I wept bitterly that day, wondering about the fate of my two little daughters,” Firdous recalls.
He says even though his wages remained meagre, he was determined to give good education to his daughters. Firdous admitted them in a private school though there were suggestions pouring in from the relatives that he should consider the option of government schools. “I never wanted to give an impression to my daughters that they are the children of lesser God. I had resolved that even though me and my wife had to sleep with empty stomachs, we would never ever compromise with the daily needs and education of my daughters.”
Now when the government has ordered the regularisation of the services of Daily Wagers in the state, Firdous has reason to rejoice. “I would say something is better than nothing. We can now avail leaves and have yearly increments. This is encouraging,” says Firdous.
However, this 42- year-old tech savy says that the years of the rigorous struggle as a daily wager has taught him the valuable lessons of life. “These years taught me to be compassionate and live without fear. These years taught me to smile infront of my children, no matter how bruised I used to be within.” (KNS)


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No one can stop AIP now: Rasheed

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Srinagar, May 23: Awami Itihaad Party (AIP) President and Party’s candidate for Baramulla Parliamentary constituency Er Rasheed has said that results are much encouraging for AIP and no one on earth can stop the party from becoming alternative to NC, PDP and other regional parties.

In a statement issued today, Rasheed said that the spirit of democracy needs to be respected and all those who have won the elections deserve congratulations. However, AIP has proved all political analysis wrong and has shown excellent performance by improving its performance beyond imagination. Those who used to accuse AIP of dividing votes should realize that party was not there to divide votes but to give a befitting fight despite all compulsions and the results have proved all those forces wrong who claimed to be lone warriors of Kashmiris.

Rasheed while thanking AIP cadres said that party is thankful to every single voter and party colleagues who voted and worked for an ideology and have laid a strong foundation stone for the future. AIP promises to follow its pro-people agenda with consistency and sincerity. One should not forget that AIP decided at the eleventh hour to contest the elections and without a proper cadre the party volunteers succeeded in sending a deep message to the masses that AIP has the potential to replace those who have given Kashmiris nothing except disappointments and false promises.

 

Rasheed reiterated his appeal to sincere political workers to join AIP and become part of a change which will not only ensure leadership that represents sentiments, sacrifices and aspiration of masses but will also give them best and corruption-free governance.

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Moulvi Yousuf Shah (RA) put in all-out efforts to highlight Kashmir issue globally: Mirwaiz

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Srinagar, May 23: The 52nd death anniversary of Mahajar-e-Millat Mirwaiz Moulvi Yousuf Shah (RA) was observed on both sides of the divide in Kashmir with full respect and honor.

Paying rich tributes to the martyrs of battle of Badr and to highlight the role and great contribution of Muhajir-e-Milat (RA) on social, moral, educational and religious and political front, Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Umar Farooq while addressing the gathering at the historic Aali Masjid at Eidgah here, shed light on the life and religious political contribution of late Mirwaiz.

While paying rich tributes to him for his commitment to the people’s political movement as a pioneer in creating awareness among them regarding their political rights for which he was exiled, Mirwaiz paid homage to the great leader for his great contribution in the spread of religious teachings and social justice among the people of the state. He said that Mujahir-e-Milat put in all-out efforts during his lifetime to highlight the Kashmir issue globally and to pitch for Kashmiri’s.

 

Mirwaiz said that the translation and commentary of holy Quran in Kashmiri language by the late Mirwaiz helped put Kashmir on the global Islamic map and earned him great respect in Islamic world.

Mirwaiz also paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the battle of Badr stating that the great companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) despite being less in number fought against the enemy to keep the Islamic flag high and that their priceless sacrifices will always be remembered till the day of judgment.

Those who spoke on the occasion include Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, Moulana Masroor Abbas Ansari, Moulana Showkat Hussain Keng, Moulana Khursheed Ahmed Qanoongo, and Moulana Syedur Rehman Shams. The speakers paid rich tributes to Mujahir-e-Milat and vowed to take his mission to its logical conclusion.

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Ganai interacts with KCCI delegation, others

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Srinagar, May 23: As part of the weekly outreach programme, Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai Thursday interacted with a number of delegations and individuals at J&K Governor’s Grievance Cell at Church Lane, Sonawar in Srinagar.

More than 22 delegations and scores of individuals from various parts of the Valley projected a number of issues on the occasion and sought their immediate redressal.

The delegations which met the Advisor during the day-long interaction include Amarnath Yatra Baltal Traders, delegation of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry, College Contractual Teachers, General line Teachers Forum and Academic Arrangement Teachers besides delegations from Umar Colony Lal Bazar, Nowgam Anantnag and Pahoo Pulwama among others.

 

The Advisor gave a patient hearing to the deputations and individuals and said that all the genuine issues put forth during the public hearing will be looked into.

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