AN ASSISTANT teacher died here on Saturday, still awaiting medical leave payment that was sanctioned but had not been released since the past eight months.
Following this his daughter, who suffered a shock, has gone into coma. Yusuf Qureshi, who worked as assistant teacher at Middle School (Gari Pipliya), was suffering from medical complications including brain fever coupled with watering of the lungs.
He was under medication for the past year and had taken medical leave twice. However, he did not receive salary in the past eight months resulting in death due to lack of proper medication. His 16-yr-old daughter, Yamini, slipped into coma on seeing the body of her father. The family had already taken a private loan at 15 per cent interest and were mulling over repayment and their difficulty has increased with another medical emergency.
The delay was caused allegedly due to infighting amongst officials of the Education Department who took the matter lightly and sat over files. The officials are now busy saving their skin by indulging in a blame game.
Younger brother of the deceased, Mohammed Rashid Qureshi, said Yusuf is survived by wife, a son and two daughters of marriageable age. He said his brother was the sole earner in the family. He had taken medical leave from July to December 2005 and again from July 13 to September 20, 2006.
The family was undergoing financial strain due to the illness coupled with unavailability of funds and salary. Shiv Narayan Karadia, who is a colleague of the deceased, said that the pending unreleased sum amounted to Rs 80,000, which if received in time could have saved the life of Yusuf Qureshi. Time and again the family members and staff had approached circle head and apprised her of the problem faced in admitting him to a private hospital.
Circle head Sandhya Dalvi admitted that the matter had come before her on numerous occasions prompting her to pay a visit to the aggrieved family some time back. She had found the grievances of poor economic condition legitimate and had forwarded the matter to the District Education Office (DEO) a long time ago.
She clarified that the circle in charge has powers only to release a month’s salary and amount for a larger period is released from the DEO office, where the file had been sent and is waiting approval.
DEO Maya Malviya, who dug out the details of the case after the death occurred, said that the circle in charge could release salary under provision of medical leave so why had she sent the file to the DEO office instead on taking action herself. She added that any teacher on medical leave should get salary on time and assured that she would act if she found any delay or lapse by her office.
Lamenting the plight of teachers, regional general secretary of Yuva Adhyapak Sangh Bhagwati Pundit said there had been several instances recently where teachers faced inordinate delay in getting their salary under medical leave and hundreds of more cases are pending in the department.