Campaign Costs: FAA Candidates Paying Heavy Price For Their Careers

Srinagar- Scores of candidates who qualified the Finance Account Assistant (FAA) exam held by the Jammu & Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) continued with the sit-in protest for the twenty second day on Thursday.

The protesting candidates braving summer heat and heavy rains during the past three weeks say they are undeterred by the weather conditions.

For candidates belonging to the city and its peripheries, the protesting venue remains central and reachable, for those coming from far off places, the journey is far and expensive.

Adil Hussain Khan, 26 a FAA candidate from Salar, Pahalgam in South Kashmir has a post-graduation degree in Mathematics from University of Kashmir.

He says after the Jammu & Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) advertised posts for Finance Account Assistant (FAA) he applied for the job keeping in view the stability a government job offers.

 Adil’s family was jubilant after the selection list was declared and their son had made it to the selection list. The joy of Abid getting ‘employed’ was short-lived as rumors started doing rounds that the exam may be scrapped.

 Adil, left with nothing, started attending protests at the Press Enclave from day one.

“Protesting at the Press enclave has come at a huge cost for me as travel expenses are huge. Every day I have to spend around 500 bucks to reach the protest venue” he says.

“In order to travel to the city from my native village, I have to change at least four public transport vehicles to reach here. I leave home as early as 07:00 a.m. and get back at 08:p.m.”he added.

Mohsin Rafiq, another FAA candidate from the South Kashmir district of Anantnag, says he has a Master’s Degree in Physics.

“I left my actual field of study for the sake of this job but now I feel disappointed” he says.

“I spend so much money to reach this place, I can’t afford to have lunch so I rely on tea and soft drinks” he added.

Tahira Rashid, 24, a civil engineer, is one of the few female candidates joining their male counterparts at the protest site.

She, like other protesting candidates, started travelling daily to the city center after the protests started from her native village in Kupwara District.

 Unable to bear the expenses, she had to rent an accommodation in the Barzulla area of the city.

“Travelling to and fro daily became a nightmare as I had to spend Rs 1000 per day as my travel expenses, so I was forced to rent a place for Rs 4,000 per month”

“Although the travel and food expenses are more than what I can afford, I am willing to pay a heavy price for the sake of my career” an undeterred Tahira says.

It is pertinent to mention, the protests were sparked by the rumors that the FAA selection list may be scrapped as it alleged that some candidates may have cheated in the exam.

The JKSSB had advertised posts for the Finance Account Assistant (FAA), Junior Assistant, Sub Auditor and other positions in December 2020.

The exam for which was held in the month of March, 2022. JKSSB had published the merit list on 22nd April, 2022.

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Syed Mohammad Burhan

Syed Mohammad Burhan has Masters in Mass Communications and works as City Reporter at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @syedmohammad313

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