Rashmi Rekha Das

Rehabilitation job aspirants on Friday resorted to a unique protest by kneeling down on road and holding ears at Lower PMG Square. 

The protesters under the banner of the Odisha State Government Rehabilitation Aspirants’ Association have been staging protests in support of their demands over last four days.  

However, tension flared up at the protest site when one of the protestors fell sick and was rushed to a hospital. The agitators started marching towards the State Assembly. A clash ensued between police and protestors when the latter were trying to get into the State Assembly. Police prevented them while they were trying to break the barricade and enter the State Assembly, sources said. 

It may be mentioned that another protestor was also hospitalized on Thursday. 

The rehabilitation assistance scheme is a measure to the family of a government servant from immediate distress when the government servant dies while in service. The protestors alleged that despite death of their parents during service period, the state government is yet to provide them jobs as a result of which they are running from pillar to post.

“We held this noble protest to make the government feel the pain we are going through after the death of an earning person in our family.

The government abolished Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme of 1990 and implemented Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme 2020 which is of no use. Going by the criteria of 2020 Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme, we are not eligible for jobs. I have been waiting for 6 years to get a job. We are not demanding high salary. Still, the government has turned a blind eye to our demands, said a protestor.  

Another agitator said, “My father died all of sudden when he was in service. Despite protesting several times, the government is not listening to our plea. The state government’s indifferent attitude has prompted us to hit the street.