M A I N   N E W S

8,000 teachers face a dark Diwali
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
With no salaries for the past seven months there seems to be no festivity for over 8,000 teachers working in 399 government-aided schools this season. A large number of teachers are left with no option than to approach banks for loans to meet their daily expenses.

Though the grant for salaries was released after a lot of hue and cry by teachers, till date they have not got even a single penny. Ravinder Kumar Joshi, principal of Ashoka Senior Secondary School, here lamented that it had become difficult for the teachers to sustain their families in these conditions. He said he had to seek a loan of Rs 1 lakh from a bank to meet his daily expenses. It is not just the salaries that the teachers have been deprived of, but they also had not been given the arrears of the 50 per cent DA that was merged in their salaries about two years ago by the Amarinder Singh government.

Usha Sharma, a teacher working in a government-aided school, stated that her family was expecting that they would get the arrears this year. However, the government had failed to provide even the salaries, leave alone the arrears.

Gurcharan Singh Chahal, president of the state government-aided school teachers’ association, said recently that the government had announced that a grant for the salaries of the teachers of aided schools had been released. However, later we got to know that the claims were false, the president said.

Gurnam Singh, headmaster of an aided school, said every time they met senior officials seeking release of their salaries, all they got were assurances that it would be released in the next few days. Mahesh Gautam, another teacher, said the teachers were now contemplating observing a black Diwali in protest.



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