Pahari speaking students agitated over silence of political leaders

TSL News Network

Jammu, April 19: While on the one hand, after a long struggle Pahari Speaking People in Jammu and Kashmir finally got 3% reservation as Governor Satya Pal Malik gave his assent to the J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2014, on the other hand, the post-matric scholarship received by Pahari speaking students has been reduced to Rs 3000.

Protests have been going on in Jammu since March 22 over reduced scholarship since over 14000 students are affected by the change in scholarship pattern. Students allege that apart from Jammu & Kashmir People’s Movement and some activists, no Political leader has joined them in their effort to revoke the order that mandates changes in the scholarship.

Previously, the scholarship amount was decided on the basis of fee structure of the specific course undertaken by Pahari speaking student and the maximum amount was issued according to the funds available.

But a recent order has led to a change in scholarship structure as well as eligibility. The Pahari speaking students must get the certificate of their Pahari identity attested from the Tehsildars in their specific area. Moreover, the scholarship amount would no longer be according to the course’s fee structure.

“I am doing BDS. My admission fee is Rs 1,96000. They are giving me Rs 3000. What kind of justice is this? There used to be funding for our stationery, sports facilities, medical, uniform, picnic funds and whatnot. This time there were no funds except for diet. This new Secretary is not sympathetic towards us students,” said Advisor, Jammu and Kashmir Pahari Revolutionary Movement(JKPRM).

Students showed extreme resentment towards political leaders saying that they approach each and every one of them for gathering votes but when it is about taking a stand for them, they just make statements show only without doing any work on the ground.

Students protested in front of the State Advisory Board for the Development of Pahari Speaking People and blocked the roads of Jammu and Kashmir in hopes of reversing the scholarship order.

Raising serious questions on the functioning of the board, Showkat Hussain said, “I went to the Finance Secretary. I asked about the funds for scholarships and I was assured that proper funding will be disbursed. But the board says that they haven’t received the funds yet. We don’t understand why the board even exists if it cannot give us justice.”