Bringing an end to possibly the longest protest atop a tower demanding job assurance, Deepak Kumar (35), aspiring teacher from Punjab’s Fazilka district, finally climbed down after 51 days from the 110-foot mobile tower in Chandigarh on Saturday morning after getting a job letter.
The Punjab education department has hired him on contractual basis at a salary of Rs 10,400. He has been asked to join on Monday (December 26) in a Tarn Taran school.
Deepak along with Rakesh Kumar of Gurdaspur had climbed the tower in the high-security zone in Sector 3 near the Punjab chief minister’s residence on November 3.
Rakesh climbed down on December 13 after he was given job letter.
No health test was conducted on him as he was directly taken to the education department office in SAS Nagar. When asked for a medical check-up, he gave in writing that he was doing fine and needed no such test. His medical check-up will be done before he joins work on Monday, a member of the Unemployed Teachers’ Union, Punjab, said.
COMPLAINS OF LOW BLOOD CIRCULATION
Deepak, who complained of low blood circulation in some parts of his body, cramps in the legs and pain in calf muscles, was brought down at 11am after the deputy superintendent of police (DSP Central), a civil defence official and a teachers’ union leader reached him through a hydraulic ladder.
“It was a long protest but I finally got the job letter. We had not climbed the tower for fun, but the government made us weak and helpless and did not even bother that we had our families who were worried about us.”Deepak Kumar, protesting aspiring teacher
As he came down, Deepak was made to talk to his mother and wife in Fazilka. He was then taken to the Punjab education department office in SAS Nagar.
Exhausted but relieved, Deepak said, “It was a long protest but I finally got the job letter. We had not climbed the tower for fun, but the government made us weak and helpless and did not even bother that we had our families who were worried about us.”
He added, “I will urge all those who are still waiting for a job to keep struggling and fighting for their legal rights or their survival will be at stake.”
When asked about his health, Deepak said, “Only the blood circulation in my legs has gone down, which is why I am facing difficulty in walking. I am fine otherwise. Once I start walking, the circulation will be normal.”
Kamal Thakur, the Unemployed Teachers’ Union, Punjab, leader, said, “We came to know at 2am on Saturday that Deepak’s name had come in the list and the place of his posting was fixed. We had planned to bring him down there and then but unfortunately the lift operator was not available. Therefore, we had to wait till morning to get him down.”
“Of the 5,300 candidates, job letters have been given to nearly 5,000. There are around 1500 posts which are still vacant. The government needs to keep this in mind.”
DSP (Central) Ram Gopal, who was a part of the rescue team, said, “Their union leader had come to pacify the protester and he maneged to convince him to come down.”
Sector 3 station house officer (SHO) Poonam Dilawri said it took 15 minutes to bring him down after he saw his name in the list.
- Local police had failed twice to convince Deepak to come down from the tower. On December 21, four-hour long operation was held to convince him but he had refused stating that he will come down only after receiving the job letter in hand.
- However, police with other officials again conducted a similar operation on December 24 when he remained stuck to his earlier stand and wished to see his job letter.
- Deepak along with Rakesh Kumar had climbed the tower in the high-security zone of Sector 3, near the Punjab chief minister’s residence on November 3.
- Both Rakesh and Deepak had passed the Elementary Teacher Training (ETT) and Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) and are members of Unemployed Teachers’ Union of Punjab, which has been demanding jobs. Deepak Kumar has a postgraduate degree, besides ETT.