Despite tall claims of the successive governments to empower the marginalised sections, teachers employed under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) scheme have not received their salaries for the past 18 months. The ministry of labour had set up 27 National Child Labour Project schools in the district in 2007 for rehabilitation and education of rescued child labourers. For this, 81 teachers and 30 staff members worked in these schools.
As per the scheme, two “non-formal teachers”, a vocational trainer and a helper to prepare and served the mid-day meal to students are needed at these schools.
Ravinder Kaur, vice-president, NCLP School Staff Welfare Committee, said, “We are paid peanuts compared to the services we render. Our salary is only 4,000 per month. Unfortunately, even this has been delayed for last several months. How can we survive under these circumstances as this is our only source of income.
Teachers employed under NCLP alleged that they had given a memorandum to the labour department and the deputy commissioner several times in the past one year demanding salaries and regularisation of their jobs but to no avail.
These teachers said if the government did not release their salaries before the end of this month, they would have no choice but to stop teaching at these schools.
They said they met several times the National Child Labour Project director, Inderjit Singh, who assured them of releasing their pending salaries soon, but it yielded no results.
Sources said the government was unable to pay their salaries due to fund crunch.
Harnoor Singh, president, Citizens’ Welfare and Protection Council, an NGO, said there were about 15 NGOs and societies which incurred the expenses of children at these special schools.
National Child Labour Project director Inderjit Singh said, “We have written to the central government several times for their pending dues but received no positive response.”
Singh said they had requested the deputy commissioner to send the proposal this time.
Jalandhar deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav said, “I got to know about the problem of these teachers yesterday only. It would be resolved very soon.”
“I will send the proposal of pending salaries to the Centre to get funds,” he added.