A prominent foundation for Indian-origin people in Port of Spain has criticised the Trinidad and Tobago government for not increasing the salaries of Hindi teachers who are allegedly paid less than the minimum wages fixed for workers.
Chanka Seeteeram, president of the Hindi Nidhi Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago said that over the last two years, the education ministry has failed to increase the stipend paid to Hindi teachers.
"The stipend of $1,000 per month is grossly inadequate. It equates to less than the minimum wage," Seeteeram said on Saturday.
Seeteeram said the education ministry had told his organisation that they have no funds to increase the stipend, the Trinidad Express reported.
"This sounds ludicrous when we look at the strength of the economy and the obscene manner in which the national patrimony is frittered away on projects of questionable economic and social value," said Seeteeram.
The Hindi Nidhi Foundation promotes the Hindi language and helps preserve Indian culture and tradition among the Indian population in Trinidad and Tobago.
"The Ministry of Education receives an annual revenue of $3 billion and is poised to get more from the supplemental budget. It becomes patently indefensible to claim that you can't afford any increase in the stipend which has remained unchanged for the last 10 years," added Seeteeram.