Unpaid for seven months, SSA teachers struggle for survival

“I know the teachers are suffering but it is not our fault. The central government is not releasing the funds. We cannot dictate terms to the HRD ministry”
Director SSA, Shamim Ahmad Laharwal

SHABIR AHMAD

SRINAGAR: Around 30000 teachers engaged under GoI-sponsored scheme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in different schools across the state are without salary from the past seven months.
This, according to a delegation of SSA teachers, has forced many of them to sell their belongings for survival.
“The teachers who wholly and solely depend on their salaries are virtually dying of starvation,” said a teacher, Mohammad Ishaq.
Another SSA teacher, Ghulam Nabi said that one of his colleagues had to sell the golden ornaments of his wife to buy medicines for his ailing father. “A teacher from Pahalgam area who is unpaid from last eight months told me that he had to sell his car to clear the fee of his younger brother studying in a professional college in Chandigarh,” he added.
President Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum, Abdul Qayoom Wani said that the forum has decided to stage protests at Jantar Mantar against the HRD ministry on January 30. “Though we had many a time staged protests here but the state government miserably failed to get the funds released from the central government. Now we have decided to go for a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar on 30th of this month. The strike will continue until the HRD ministry releases the pending salary amount,” Wani told Kashmir Reader.
“Out of the total 1200 crore salary budget of SSA teachers for 2014, the HRD ministry has released only 300 crores so far,” he added.
Director SSA, Shamim Ahmad Laharwal, expressed helplessness over the issue and said that it was the central government which has stopped the funds. “I know the teachers are suffering but it is not our fault. The central government is not releasing the funds. We cannot dictate terms to the HRD ministry,” he said.
He said that whatever the funds the central government releases they immediately disburse the same into the accounts of CEOs.
“The HRD ministry last month released some 80 crore rupees and without wasting anytime, we distributed the amount,” he added.

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