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With SRO 202 gone, those recruited, aspirants hope for a better future

Srinagar: After completing his post-graduation in 2011, 38-years-old Muneer Ahmad worked as a daily wager to support his family.  After many efforts, his hard work paid off as he got selected in the education department as a teacher in 2016.

It, however, didn’t end his suffering as the then government had introduced SRO 202 in 2015, which entitled every newly recruited government employee to work on probation for the first five years on a meagre salary.

Ahmad, besides working as a teacher had to do a part-time job in the evening to support his family. “I would work as a fruit seller in the evening to support my family,” he said.

Like Ahmad, around 13000 youth, who were recruited post-2015, worked in various government departments on probation with meagre salaries.

Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday withdrew the controversial SRO 202. Under the new terms, the probation period of the old appointees has been reduced from 5 to 2 years. 

 The SRO 202 was brought by the erstwhile government on the pretext of providing jobs to more unemployed youth. However, the move had evoked sharp reaction from the people and employees. 

Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum Mohammad Rafiq Rather said that more than 5,000 newly recruited suffered due to the “draconian and arbitrary law.”

“SRO 202 discouraged our youth from opting for government jobs. Our teachers suffered because they were only paid a basic salary for five years with no service records. Those who were recruited in the physical education department had to suffer for seven years due to the draconian law,” he said.

Rather said there are seven lakh unemployed youth in J&K, which is much higher than the national average. 

Chairman Teachers forum said after the scraping of SRO 202, the employees will be entitled to allowances including House Rent, Medical, Union Territory Allowances, Child Allowances, and others.  

 “There is still a big confusion as many employees have completed four years of probation. The decision will prove a major relief for teachers recruited after 2015,” he said.

Sajjad Ahmad Parray, president of Casual Labours and Daily Wagers Association said that justice has been delivered to newly recruited employees.

“The government of late realized that injustice has been done with the employees.  Still, there are thousands of casual and daily wagers whose future hang in balance even after rendering 26 years of their services. The government needs to consider that as well,” he said.