“It is a humble request to all the parents, who are planning to take BDS for their children, to change their mind and go for something relevant and substantial pertaining to the job perspectives”
Ever increasing unemployment and indifferent approach of the administration is forcing hundreds of Dentists in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to apply for petty jobs. Some have even changed their profession due to uncertainty on the part of government in exploring options to create job opportunities for doctors.
According to the Association of Dental Surgeon Union Jammu and Kashmir, no post of dental surgeon has been advertised since last more than 13 years. They also claimed that Jammu and Kashmir has 7500 registered dental surgeons, of whom 7000 are jobless.
29-year-old doctor from Jammu advised the government to shut down all the Dental colleges in the erstwhile State, so that money, energy and time of doctors could be saved.
“I am not the first person in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, who has changed this profession; there are so many doctors, who had switched to petty jobs, despite doing BDS and MDS,” said a young doctor, wishing anonymity. He added that in absence of proper management, many doctors were forced to go for other jobs to earn livelihood.
He maintained that the irony is that nobody at the helm of affairs is bothered to take cognizance of the matter, despite the fact that doctors are applying for IV class jobs.
“It would not be difficult to imagine the amount of stress on students after finishing their degrees, when they find no jobs. Under such circumstances, they are forced to apply for IV class jobs just to earn bread and butter for their families,” he rued, adding that even he was rejected for the IV class job due to his over qualification.
The dentists said that relatives, friends and even some bureaucrats left no stone unturned to mock him by saying “Why does a doctor needs a government job, when there is unaccounted money in Medical profession, but who will make them understand that everyone can’t afford dental clinics by spending several lakhs,” he said and added that there was a time when he didn’t have money to eat.
After seeing apathetic approach of the successive governments in the Jammu and Kashmir towards dentists, Dr. Shivam Gupta, who preferred to get engaged under a Public Health Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO), shared his story with The Typewriter and said that it took him nine years to understand that the Dentistry in Jammu and Kashmir is completely waste of time. If anyone wants to ruin his or her life then ask them to get admission in BDS.
“I did my BDS in 2012, but due to shortage of MDS seats in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State, I had to prepare for various exams including MDS. Almost at the same time, a team from UDAAN came and they selected 10 candidates from Jammu including me. I was waiting for six months but got no reply from them after selection. Later, I came to know that they had selected someone else on my post. Due to joblessness, I started working in a Paramedical College as a Principal and also delivered lectures to the students,” said Dr. Shivam, adding that a team of doctors constituted an Association of Unemployed Dental Surgeons wherein they highlighted the issue of unemployment of the Dentists and it was led by Dr Asif Iqbal Choudhary.
“We sat on hunger strike and the protest was called off after 40 to 45 days on the assurances of the then Government. But as usual, that were the government tactics to pacify us to call off the strike. Due to the hunger strike, I am still suffering from a life-threatening disease,” said Dr. Gupta, adding that he got selected for Master in Public Health as well as Master in Forensic Dentistry in Gujarat.
He stated that due to health complications, he could not join either of the course, but went for Post Graduation in Forensic Dentistry.
“I believe, I wasted nine years of my life by doing BDS and Post Graduation, besides publishing Research Papers,” he said and added that it was not easy for dentists to change the profession after spending more than five to six years in studying BDS.
A father of a former dentist, wishing not to be named, stated as “My son is mentally disturbed since last many years. We had taken special session for him from a psychiatrist. After completing his degree from Jammu and Kashmir, he locked himself in the home and didn’t talk much with us and relatives. It appeared that he is in stress on unemployment,” said father of a dentist.
“It is a humble request to all the parents, who are planning to take BDS for their children, to change their mind and go for something relevant and substantial pertaining to the job perspectives,” he stated.
Here need to mention that it has been 13 years since the government has failed to advertise dental surgeons’ posts in J&K UT, leaving thousands of trained dentists unemployed. As per the Association of Dental Surgeon, Jammu and Kashmir has 7500 registered dental surgeons, of whom 7000 are jobless and also claimed that they are on the verge of overage, stress, and starvation.
When contacted Additional Chief Secretary, H&ME Department Atal Dulloo, he was not available for comments.