Sitting on the hunger strike from the past over a week, Hindi teachers alleged the state government of making a joke out of their protest by not meeting their demands, despite promises.
As many as 512 Hindi Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) Teachers’ Union has been on protest since March 12 and has been demanding the regularisation of their jobs. The state president of the union, Shaminder Singh, said as per the rules they should have been regularised on April 1, 2015, however, the state government has failed to deliver on their promise.
“Rakesh Gupta, a member of union, is on indefinite hunger strike from past one week and his health is deteriorating,” said Shaminder, adding that if anything happened to him, then state government would be responsible for that.
Meanwhile, Gupta said, “The government has been promising to regularise our services and increase the pay scale from the past many years, but all such promises have proved to be hoax.”
He said they were recruited by the government through proper channels in 2012 and as per the rules, were supposed to be regularised on April 2015. “However, we were still working on the contractual basis,” he added.
He said teachers of the union were being paid Rs 10,300 honorarium per month, which was not enough to feed an average family of four members. He said after getting regularised, their salaries would jump to over Rs 30,000 per month.
Gupta said they had submitted over 40 memorandums to state education minister Daljit Singh Cheema and had only received false promises in return.
Meanwhile, the government doctors checked Rakesh’s health condition and said his blood pressure and body weight was declining fast. “He needs to be hospitalised soon,” said the doctor.
Shaminder said the Sangrur district administration had arranged their meeting with Cheema on March 18 at Chandigarh. “A group of union members waited at secretariat for the whole day, but no such meeting took place. This only shows that the state government has the expertise in cheating people,” said Singh.
Meanwhile, on March 20, the union members from all over the state reached Sangrur and held a massive protest at Mahavir Chowk, Sangrur and blocked the national highways 64 and 71 for over three hours. Gupta said, “As the government’s tenure is nearing its end, it is trying to grab as much money to fill their own pockets. Whatever this government is doing, they will have to pay for it later.”
During their protest, Shiromani Akali Dal Sangrur MLA Parkash Chand Garg requested the union leaders to lift off the protest and to clear the way for the public. The union members gave a memorandum to Garg and he assured them solution of their demands soon.