Retired WAKF Employees in Lurch: Request LG Sinha and CS Atal Dulloo to Intervene We Pray That Our Children Will Not Go Hungry Again on This Eid-Ul-Fitr

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The employees of the Jammu and Kashmir WAKF Board, who retired between the years 2022 and 2023, have implored Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha and the chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Atal Dulloo to intervene and fulfill their long pending demand of the denied pension by J&K WAKF Board. 

“The top office bearers of Wakf board communicated to the employees in the first week of January this year that the pension has been released for those employees who have been deprived of it for the last two years. However, it has been two months since then, and we continue to suffer without our only source of income.

We have given our lives to the Wakf board, and at this juncture, we have been left to the mercy of our fate,” one of the retired employees of the Wakf board said.

Another employee of the Wakf board said that they have been demanding their rights for the last two years and when the communication of the release of pension reached them, they were all in the celebration that finally the Wakf board has decided to honor their service and their rights. “However, it has been more than two months since and the Wakf board has not honored its duty.”

Considered, the second richest institution in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir following the government, the employees of the WAKF Board who retired between the years 2022 and 2023 expressed dismay that the board continues to deny their long pending retirement pension, a sole source of sustenance for them in their old age.

They said that in the first place, their pension should have been released two years ago, and then when the board officials finally communicated and promised that the pension would be released in the first week of January this year, they sat again on the file for more than two months and continued to deny the retired Wakf employees their right

“Many of us are on medicines, and many of us have large families to support and daughters to marry off, the WAKF Board must have thought about it. Right now, there are nearly 230 pensioners on the WAKF Board. All the retired employees from Waqf Board are getting pensions, some of them are those who have even retired after the enactment of the J&K Reorganization Act.

Out of the 39 employees who retired after the abrogation of 370, nearly 11 (eleven) are getting pension. The rest have been left out and subjected to stepmotherly treatment,” another employee said.

“When the Re-organization act was brought into effect in the jurisdiction of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, by virtue of abrogation of Article-370, the Central Wakf Act, 1995 was also extended to Jammu and Kashmir.

However, according to the Central Wakf Act, it remains at the discretion of the members and chairperson of the Jammu and Kashmir WAKF Board to provide whatever privileges that the board deems fit to its employees.

Unfortunately, the J&K WAKF Board has shown an apathetic approach towards the employees who retired between the years 2022 and 2023,” an employee of the WAKF Board who had retired in 2023 said

“According to the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019, the WAKF Board of Jammu and Kashmir must not disenfranchise its employees who have served the board throughout their lifetimes.

The board can choose to deal with new employees who are recruited after 2019 on its own terms, but those of us, who were recruited 30, 35, or 40 years ago must be accorded all those privileges which the terms of our employment dictate.

It’s a guarantee given to us by J&K Reorganization Act, 2019 and all the prevailing acts of our country,” another retired employee who is undergoing a treatment for serious disease said.

The retired employees further said that throughout their service, they worked for meagre salaries for the WAKF Board, and upon their retirement, when this small retirement pension could have ensured a support system for them and their families, in their old age, was also denied.

The employees said that due to the non-disbursement of pensions, they have reached a state of destitution and are being forced to reach out to others for help and medicines in their old age.

“Therefore, we the retired employees request Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the chief secretary Shri Atal Dulloo to intervene and help us in our rights, or else, our lives and the lives of our families will continue to suffer. We have been fighting and demanding our rights for the last two years and finally, when the Wakf officials communicated that the pension had been released, we thought that our struggles were over.

But the delay in our file for more than two months even after the official communication regarding the release has disheartened us again.

Throughout our lives, we have been getting meagre salaries when compared with other institutions, and now, it has become even harder to live a normal life without the meagre pension that we are demanding,” the employees said while explaining their situation.CNI

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