SMC’s ‘Ambassador’ without honorarium for last 4 months

SMC’s Brand Ambassador Bilal Ahmad Dar with his certifications. - Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
SMC’s Brand Ambassador Bilal Ahmad Dar with his certifications. - Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Jan 24: Tagged as ‘Brand Ambassador’ of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), youngster Bilal Ahmad Dar hasn’t got the honorarium for the last 4 months which he used to get from the SMC since 2017.
Financially not in a good condition, Bilal, hailing from Bandipora, is currently in a bad position and is not able to fulfil his needs even, he said, his family is suffering too.
Due to the failure of the SMC in releasing his honorarium, Bilal told Excelsior he is finding it hard to make the ends meet even as he said that the authorities at SMC are making him suffer as he is working round the clock.
“I am currently working at Transport Yard in Srinagar like other employees of the SMC are, but, they are telling me to follow the files and carry out all the formalities on my own at the end of every month-which I fail to understand as to why I am being told to do so,” he said.
Bilal said that he is without the honorarium for the last at least 4 months due to which he along with his family is suffering. “I am not financially sound and solely rely on the honorarium I get; I am not able to pay my rent in Srinagar not to talk of other expenses,” he said.
He said that until recently, he was getting Rs 8000/- as monthly honorarium which was hiked to Rs 10,000/- “but I have seen nothing in the last 4 months; when I am not able to take care of my family, what is the fun of being a Brand Ambassador,” he said.
It is to be noted here that Bilal was just 14-years-old when he was featured in a documentary based on the conservation of the Wular Lake in North Kashmir.
His feat was subsequently lauded by Prime Minister Modi in his weekly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and the year 2017 and after that, the Administration hired Bilal as the “Brand Ambassador” of SMC to help carry out the campaign focusing on the importance of cleaning, particularly the water bodies.
He was offered a monthly honorarium of 8,000 rupees which turned out to be a ray of hope for Bilal.
Commissioner SMC Athar Amir told Excelsior that there has not been any change about his title of being SMC’s Brand Ambassador and has been getting the monthly honorarium. “About him not being able to get the honorarium, I will see to it and get that sorted,” he said.