NYC Calls Off Hunger Strike

Irfan Rashid


 The protesting National Youth Corps volunteers ended their indefinite hunger strike on Tuesday—57th day—after “assurance” from the ruling government.
On Tuesday evening, Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu addressed the NYC volunteers in the Pratap Park and said, “We are going to make a roadmap for you within two months. We would move a proposal in next budget session in Jammu for adjusting you in different departments.”
On 22 October 2014, Omar government had passed a cabinet order no 192/CIR/2014 and then secretary education vide order number 737-EDU/2014 to engage 6000 NYC as contingent workers in schools department against vacancies created in newly 800 upgraded schools.
But the Finance Minister told the NYC that they would be adjusted in different departments rather than in a single Education Department.
This was the third visit of the Drabu to the NYC camp as earlier two were failed to resolve the issue. He said, “This is humanitarian issue and needs to be solved at the earliest. This is not the issue of six thousand NYC youth but about six thousand families.”
While castigating previous regimes for “soiling their future” the Minister said that their government is serious regarding their grievances and assured them that they will be regularized in different departments.
He has asked NYC to give two months time to government so that within these two months they will get their details and biometrics done.
Asif Ali Bhat, President NYC said, “It is only after getting full assurance from government we have ended our strike now. Incase government will fail to full promises made to us today then they know better what we can do and what we are capable to do.”
On Monday evening, a meeting had taken place between NYC president, PDP President and Finance Minister where it was decided to resolve the issue.
Scores of politicians visited in this period to them—both from ruling as well as opposition.
These 57 days have been not been easy time for the members here in the Park. A total of 4 lakh is said to have incurred as expenses during this two month strike which have been contributed by the parents of the unemployed NYC members. Besides, NYC president who had come in his personal vehicle (Hyundai accent) on September 1st had to sell that to bear the expenses.
They also spent their Eid in the park. Hundreds of members have been hospitalized in this period.
There have been heart-rending stories about female NYCs who have been warned by their future “in-laws” about wasting their time in the Park and many were castigated for losing their job.
For Falak Tawheed (name changed), this is no less than Eid today for her as she has been one of the victims of such threats from her in-laws. But she kept fighting and remained steadfast on her resolve, finally to get cheer on her face.
The today’ success has also come after a sacrifice of one of the members, Raj Kumar, who died in this period as he had deeply been stuck by the depression.

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