After organising exactly a hundred strikes that got no responses from the government, teaching and non-teaching staff from colleges of social work are hoping to make an impact with a unique protest – they are going to shave their heads.
On April 19, 30 staff from colleges across Maharashtra will go bald as part of a ‘mundan andolan’ at Azad Maidan.
The historic ground has seen several protests, the most recent being in support of Anna Hazare’s fast, but faculty members are hoping that their protest will grab attention of the authorities concerned. They are fighting for implementation of the sixth pay commission salaries and pension and gratuity benefits. While all other educational institutes fall under the department of higher and technical education, social work colleges are under the purview of the social welfare department.
The Sixth Pay Commission salaries were implemented in all other colleges last year itself.
“We went on our hundredth strike on February 10 but to no avail. All the government has done has made empty promises. Maybe this drastic step will move them into some action,” said Ambadas Mohite, president, Maharashtra Association of Social Work Educators.
“Like all other colleges, our colleges are also affiliated to state universities and governed by the rules and regulations of the University Grants Commission. Then why are we denied our pension benefits? Why are we not getting sixth pay commission? All because we fall under the social justice department,” he added.
Even the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers Union will be protesting a day earlier on April 18, at the same place, and one of them too will take up the cause of staff of colleges of social work.