Saturday, April 13
Hundreds of daily wagers stage hunger strike in Ladakh, demand Regularization

Hundreds of daily wagers stage hunger strike in Ladakh, demand Regularization


LEH: In a powerful display of solidarity and determination, hundreds of daily wagers in Leh and Zanskar have initiated a hunger strike to demand regularization after working in about nearly 22 government departments of Ladakh Union Territory since 1994.

This protest has drawn widespread attention and has become a focal point for the ongoing debate job security in the region.

The daily wagers, comprising men and women from various age groups, have gathered in Leh and Zanskar in a unified effort to bring attention to their plight. With banners and placards in hand, they are raising their voice against the years of temporary employment and lack of job security despite their long and dedicated service to different government departments.

Nearly 2500 casual workers have been serving in about 22 government department including 1100 in Leh district, 1100 in Kargil and about 65 in Zanskar region.

Hunger Strike was on Tuesday started in Leh and Zanskar with hundreds of aforementioned workers pressing for the uniform demand, while in Kargil district the strike will begin on Wednesday likely with hundreds joining the protest.

Speaking to reporters, President of All Casual Labourers emphasized the urgency of their demands, stating, “We have been working relentlessly in various government departments for decades, and yet, we continue to face uncertainty regarding our employment status. It is unjust that our years of hard work and contribution to crucial public services have not been acknowledged with regularization.”

Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections nearing Code of Conduct, he said they will sternly press for their demand, in Leh and Zanskar they have gathered for the demand and in Kargil district of the UT, the similar strike will resume on February 28.

“Our file has been biting dust before Lt. Governor for last six months and no action was taken in the matter,” he said, adding. “We want our demand to be met before the LS Polls, since after the elections are over we would be abandoned like we have been before.”

The hunger strike, which has garnered significant public support, has brought to light the challenges faced by the daily wagers in the region. Many of them have expressed their frustration at being excluded from the benefits and protections that come with permanent employment, despite their integral role in sustaining essential government functions over the years.

Furthermore, the protesters have underscored the adverse impact of the lack of job regularization on their livelihoods and families, stressing the need for urgent intervention to address their concerns.

As the hunger strike continues to draw attention and support, it has sparked broader conversations about the importance of job security, and the need for equitable treatment of all workers, irrespective of their employment status. Besides they are being paid peanuts.

The initiated protest by the daily wagers of Ladakh underscores their determination to pursue their demands for regularization and serves as a call to action for government to address the longstanding issue.

Another woman worker said that their monthly salary has been unenhanced for years and are still paid about 12000/month.

The hunger strike in Leh and Zanskar serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by daily wagers and the pressing need for systemic reforms to ensure their rights and well-being are safeguarded.

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