Independent , Honest and Dignified Journalism

DSS bats for Empowerment of VDGs, Numberdars, Chowkidars in letter & spirit

Jammu,19-01-2023 . Th. Gulchain Singh Charak, President, Dogra Sadar Sabha, Jammu and Kashmir and former Minister has hailed the latest directions of Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta to the concerned Revenue authorities regarding strengthening of traditional and vital village institutions of Numberdars and Chowkidars throughout J&K. He has termed as significant the assertion of Dr Mehta that the position of Numberdars and Chowkidars is very important for better coordination at grassroot level besides the instructions to district administration to fill up all their vacancies by engaging young and enthusiastic persons as per the relevant rules and acts before 26 January 2023.

Speaking at a press conference held at Sabha Bhawan Jammu, Shri Charak invoked his recent appeal on January 6 to the Central as well as the UT Government, to actively involve the civil society at all levels. He said that the DSS has been repeatedly demanding since long that the involvement of grass root level institutions and a cross-section of the civil society, including veteran defence personnel and religious, political and social leaders from amongst the local population to ensure strengthening of communal harmony, sustainable peace and development besides assistance in completely pulling out J&K from the pangs of terrorism. In this regard, Shri Charak complimented the renewed concern of the Government to maintain peace for safety of lives and livelihood of people. He reiterated that by serving as the eyes and ears of the government, the institution of  Numberdars and Chowkidars provides the most effective services to common masses, particularly the rural population. It is imperative therefore, to duly empower them and also fulfill their genuine and long pending demands such as:

    1. Raise the monthly remuneration (honorarium) of Numberdars and Chowkidars from the existing paltry sum of Rs. 1501 and Rs. 1500 respectively to at least Rs. 9000 per month, comparable with the minimum of Rs. 300 per day, they being involved in very important and round the clock government work.
    2. The Government Order No. Rev/LB -354 of 2007 dated 11-10-2007 regarding their free transportation

in the SRTC buses, monitoring and overseeing functioning/punctuality in government offices and involvement in all development activities in their area of jurisdiction must be strictly enforced because as of now, the Order is not being implemented in letter and spirit.

    1. In view of sensitivity of their job, Government must provide genuinely substantial ex-gracia relief to the family besides government job to the next of the kin of Numberdars/Chowkidars, either killed by terrorists or died while performing government work.
    2. Regular and hassle free payment of monthly remuneration should be ensured and not merely by paying lip service. The Numberdars and Chowkidars were not being paid regular remuneration, he said.

Shri Charak appreciated the directions of the Chief Secretary to these institutions to switch over to on-

Line mode of communication and for use of mobile phones for dissemination of information to ensure prompt and hassle free flow of requisite information from villages. In this regard, Shri Charak emphasized that they could play a very effective role in making the people aware about evil designs of the envious neighbouring countries and their agencies to create regional and communal divide through false propaganda, selective violence, proliferation of harmful drugs and incriminating material. Shri Charak stressed that the government should take the information provided by Numberdars and Chowkidars with due seriousness.

In the conference, Shri Charak also welcomed the latest decision of the Union and the UT government to revive and revitalize the Village Defence Committees (VDCs) as Village Defence Guards (VDGs) by providing Modern arms to their members, mainly comprising of ex-servicemen and youth. He however stressed that it should be done immediately without any loss of time and the manner and mode of payment must be foolproof and regular. Shri Charak said that the VDCs had played a pivotal role in tackling the terrorists and had led to the elimination of terrorism from the areas close to the Line of Control and also in the interior districts. He asked the government to take a positive view of the demands of these grassroots level institutions duly empower them in the larger public interest.

Prominent among others  present were Col Karan Singh Vice President, Prem Sagar Gupta Gen Secy, Col Virendra K Sahi VrC Convenor Media Cell,  Gambhir Dev Singh Incharge Youth Wing ,   Chander Mohan Sharma Secy , Amanat Ali Shah Joint secy, Ravi Singh Salathia.