Without salaries for months, thousands of SSA teachers struggle for survival

SRINAGAR: While the government is organising a grand event on the Teachers’ Day at Kashmir University today, thousands of teachers here working under government of India-sponsored scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), struggle for survival as they remain without salary for the past five to six months.
In desperation, these teachers say that an announcement about the release of their pending dues will be the biggest honour to their services on this special day.
“There is no fun in celebrating the Teachers’ Day, at least for those teachers who remain unpaid for nearly six months and have to face lathis for demanding their salaries.Now that the government has organised a function to honor the teachers, let them announce the release of the pending salaries,” Teachers Forum president, Abdul Qayoom Wani, said.
“If such an announcement is made, these teachers will really feel honoured.”
He claimed that he has seen many teachers who sold their belongings to meet the needs of their families. “For such a teacher, celebrating the Teachers Day means nothing,” Wani told Kashmir Reader.
Thousands of teachers were appointed in the state under the scheme from time to time. The funds for the operation of the scheme are shared  by GoI (65 percent) and the state government (35 percent).
Another zonal level representative of teachers, Ghulam Nabi said that most of the teachers have availed various kinds of loans from the banks but due to the non-payment of their salaries none of them has been able to clear these debts.
“Most of the teachers, who have been sanctioned loans on the guarantee of their close relatives and friends, are now facing humiliation. The bank officials now deduct the monthly installments of the defaulter teachers from the accounts of their guarantors, which has strained their relations,” he said.
In such a situation, he said, such a teacher has no reason to celebrate the Teachers’ Day.