On Karwa Chauth, protesting teachers in Patiala fast for pay hike, regular jobs
Sixteen protesting women teachers in Patiala got ‘Punjab Sarkar Murdabad’ written on their hands with ‘heena’ on the occasion of ‘Karwa Chauth’ as their protest for regularisation of their jobs without a pay cut entered its 21st day on Saturday.
The teachers, under the banner of Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha, have been holding a sit-in protest at Patiala, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s constituency. They also started a chain hunger strike.
The teachers are against the state government’s decision to fix their monthly salary at Rs 15,000, during the probation period for regularisation of their jobs. At present, teachers on contract are getting Rs 42,300 per month.
“The day of Karva Chauth is meant for the long life and well-being of husbands, but today we observed the day for the protection of our pay scales and job security,” said Anu, a Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teacher. “This is our way to register a protest against the Punjab government,” she added.
“How will we run our lives with such a big salary cut? The government must withdraw its decision of giving ₹15,000 per month to teachers who are going to be regularised. We want full pay scale,” said Navjot Kaur, a teacher from Barnala.
Another protesting teacher, Paramjeet Kaur from Mohali, said, “On Karva Chauth, we were forced to observe a fast against the state government seeking regularisation of job, but on our last drawn salary.”
On October 23, the protesters had met the CM’s chief principal secretary Suresh Kumar and officer-on-special-duty Sandeep Sandhu regarding the issue. They were assured of a meeting with the CM on November 5.
The teachers sitting on a fast are Harjeet Kaur, Sonia, Anu, Rajveer Kaur, and Sukhwinder Kaur from the Rajpura block. From Nabha block, the teachers are Gagandeep Kaur and Nanita; from Patiala, the protester is Sonia.
The others are Arvinder Kaur and Bhupinder Kaur from Fazilka district; Kuldeep Kaur from Mansa; Paramjeet Kaur from Mohali; Vidhi from Ghanaur and Sukhwinder Kaur; and Amandeep Kaur and Navjot Kaur from Barnala. On Saturday, teachers from Hoshiarpur, Mohali and Bathinda visited the dharna site.
With agency inputs