The founders of Jammu for India (JFI) on Wednesday held a meeting to discuss the plight of unemployed youth of Jammu province and demanded a special package from New Delhi for them so that their problem is mitigated and they play an important role in the state’s development. Meeting was held a day after a deputation of more than 50 unemployed youth met with them to narrate their woeful tales and ask them to take up their problem with right quarters.
Speaking during the meeting, JFI convener Prof Hari Om said that the demand of the Jammu youth was as genuine as it deserved immediate serious consideration. He said that unemployment rate in Kashmir is less than 30 per cent, as against 69.75 per cent in Jammu province and claimed that what he said could be easily verified from the assembly records. He said out of nearly 4.5 lakh employees working in government and semi-government establishments in J&K, including corporations, the number of employees hailing from Jammu province is not even 25 per cent, and that’s the reason that the rate of unemployment in Jammu province is so high.
The people of Jammu province have a very little representation in the civil secretariat, the seat of power, he further said, and added that the number of employees from Kashmir, who are working in the civil secretariat, is almost five times that of Jammu. As for the share of the cold-desert Ladakh in the civil secretariat, the JFI convener said, it is just a paltry 0.68 per cent.
The founder members of the JFI expressed grave concern over the acute unemployment problem in Jammu province and took to task the elected representatives, saying they and the Delhi Darbar are squarely responsible for the prevailing discontent in Jammu province as well as alienation of the region both from the Valley and New Delhi. Those who were present in the meeting included Dheeraj Pargal, Devender Choudhary, Dr Ajay Chrungoo, Sham Lal Bassan, Advo Pushpinder Singh, Dr Agni Shekhar, YR Gupta, Ajat Shatru Singh Jamwal, Ashok Kumar and Rajesh Dutta.