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For 3,000 Govt Workers in Assam, Pay Day Hasn’t Come in a Year

The district administration hasn’t released salaries of 3,000 employees since Nov 2016. Why isn’t the state acting?

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India
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Over 3,000 workers in Assam’s Dima Hasao have not been paid their salaries by the North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council (NCHADC) since November 2016.

Many of these employees have families and children to feed and have been struggling to make ends meet for the last 13 months.

Below is a video on the issue from July this year, shared by musician Daniel Langthasa, who is also known as ‘Mr India’.

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“The salaries had frequent delays in payment of two to three months till November 2016. But since then, the employees have not been paid, making it the longest period in recent years,” says musician Daniel Langthasa.

Earlier this year, a female employee, Putuli Giri, commited suicide because of financial stress. She was a single mother. Employees have been going on dharnas frequently, but with indifferent authorities, and almost no media coverage, there’s no pressure to acknowledge and act on these protests.
Daniel Langthasa, Musician
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In July 2017, when the then-state Governor Banwarilal Purohit was in Haflong, the employees of the council went on strike to demand their salaries which were then due for nine months. A report from The Wire claimed the strike turned violent after the protesters tried to bar the council members from meeting the then-state governor.

The report added that the intervention of the governor, who was also the head of the council, helped them get two months’ salary in August. But, Daniel says that when he spoke with the Union, they said only a third of the employees received their pending salaries for December 2016.
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The District Council, which is responsible for their salaries, claims that there hasn’t been enough revenue generation, to justify non-payment of the employees salaries for over a year now.

When The Quint tried to get in touch with Dima Hasao’s District Magistrate, who is also the district administration's Deputy Commissioner, he was unavailable for comment.

With no salary in sight for nearly a year now, many people, particularly those who are in the lower rung, have been forced to remove their children from school. Those whose families don’t have a second earning member are working as daily wage earners, some as carpenters, vegetable sellers, hawkers etc.
Daniel Langthasa, as told to The Wire
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Daniel, with his band ‘Digital Suicide’, has tried to shed light on the issue through his music.

He has taken to sharing #BetonDeu (give their salaries) on social media in the hope to raise awareness about the crisis.

He performs in public, trying to convey the helplessness, betrayal, and crushing financial vacuum the citizens feel. He even performed at India Gate in the capital in November 2017.

Dilliwallahs also singing #BetonDeu at India Gate, New Delhi. Sing-In For Salary Day 6.

Posted by Mr India on Saturday, November 18, 2017

The situation is only getting worse for the employees of the council. Will their plight be resolved? Will Assam's Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal step in and address this oversight that is happening right under his nose?

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Topics:  salary   Assamese   Assam Chief Minister 

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