To assuage sufferings of people, Labour Deptt to start Helpline numbers at Distt level

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, May 4: To address problems of the stranded laborers and make their access easy to the helpline numbers, the Department of Labour is starting more Helpline numbers from all districts of J&K from tomorrow.
The decision was taken in view of large number of calls being made on Helpline numbers by the stranded laborers, employees and students, which most of time remain busy or get trapped due to overloading with the result people making the calls on these numbers feel aggrieved and also make complaints that there was no response to their calls and Government has cheated them on the name of helpline numbers.
To assuage their sufferings, the Labour Department has decided to start helpline numbers at district level from tomorrow so that there will be easy accessibility on the same and the people will not feel problems while making calls and they can get a proper response also to their calls.
This was stated by Labour Commissioner, Abdul Rashid War while talking to Excelsior when his attention was drawn that the people have complaints that they don’t get any response from helpline numbers given by the Government either at Resident Commissioner’s office New Delhi or Labour Department’s Offices at Jammu or Srinagar.
War said “about 50,000 laborers of J&K are stranded outside the UT in different parts of the country and we have started bringing the people State wise. First, we took up people stranded at Himachal Pradesh which has been followed by Punjab and then other States’’, he added.
Admitting that the Helplines can’t respond every call, War said there is heavy flow of calls and it is not humanly possible to respond to every one as the Helpline numbers are limited and whose call is not responded he makes a complaint that there is no response and the Government has cheated people which is not correct.
He said every one is calling these Helpline numbers, including students for whom separate numbers have been given they too call on these helpline numbers, besides the people who are trapped in J&K and want to go outside the UT also call on these numbers while the people going from one district to another district also make calls on these numbers though they have to contact the Divisional Commissioner’s Office. So it is not possible for the employees to respond to each and every call due to such a heavy flow of calls, he added.
He said the directives have also been issued to the officials at helpline numbers to start the call waiting alert so that the response to the caller is given later in case the number is busy.
It may be recalled that thousands of people whose relatives, kith and kin are stranded in other states of the country had heaved a sigh of relief after Union Home Ministry on May 1 announced to bring all stranded people of J&K including laborers back.
Following the Union Government order, the Helpline numbers were issued by Resident Commissioner’s Office New Delhi as well as J&K administration asking people who are stranded outside J&K to contact on these numbers for registration etc. Though the people stranded outside the UT of J&K including laborers, private sector employees and students under going training in professional colleges in various states of India for over last one month as well as their relatives back at home heaved a sigh of relief over the announcement. But much to their surprise when they contacted on these numbers there was no response from any help line number to their call.
The parents of some students undergoing training in professional colleges in Maharashta, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana and UP said that they have been continuously trying these Helpline numbers of Resident Commissioner’s Delhi Office as well as the Jammu numbers but there is no response on any number. “Showing their concern, they said they are perturbed for the welfare of their wards as maximum of them are in Red zones and even they do not get any thing to eat’’.
“We got a satisfaction that we will be reunited with our children who were in complete isolation for over a month now but our hopes have dashed to ground when we did not get any response from the helpline numbers given by the Government’’, said Bhagwan Singh of Bantalab whose two children are studying in Pune, Maharashtra and Bangaluru, Karnataka.
He said not only he but many parents of students whose children are studying outside J&K are now perturbed as they do not know whom to approach as there is no response on helpline numbers.
Some laborers trapped in various states said that they have run short of money and are facing many problems while there family members are perturbed in J&K also. Besides, the students trapped in Red Zones of Pune and Mumbai said that they are in miserable condition as they can’t leave outside their residential area to get some thing to eat. The Colleges have closed the Hostels also and the Students have taken refuge outside in rented accommodations where their friends were already putting up.