Srinagar: When Arshad Ahmad of Anantnag was appointed as Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) seven years ago, his family knew no bounds of joy. The family was on cloud nine when his job was regularised two years ago. However seven years after his appointment he regrets over his decision to join the teaching profession because of the ill-treatment of the authorities towards the teaching community.
“Teaching is a noble profession and that is why I had always aspired to become a teacher. But seeing the attitude of authorities towards teacher community I get highly disappointed. I really regret over my decision of choosing this profession,” Arshad told Kashmir Reader.
Arshad remains unpaid for last six months forcing him to borrow money from friends and relatives to meet his daily requirements.
“Since my job confirmation, I have never received salary on monthly basis. It is after seven or eight months we get one or two months’ salary. It is irony that we have to virtually beg for salaries every time by hitting the roads. What else can be the humiliation for a teacher than this,” Arshad rued.
At least thirty thousand teachers appointed under central sponsored scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) during last ten years remain unpaid for last six to seven months.
Arshad is not alone to face the agony. Scores of teachers working in different educational zones of south Kashmir told Kashmir Reader that they feel disrespected and ignored. Non-payment of salaries, many teachers said, has forced them to sell their belongings for survival.
“We are badly suffering due to the non-payment of our salaries. Many teachers who are solely dependent on their salaries are virtually dying of starvation,” said a teacher, Abdul Rashid.
Another SSA teacher, Ghulam Nabi who is representing the teachers of an educational zone in south Kashmir said that one of his colleagues is suffering from kidney failure. “You can imagine how he and his family must be suffering,” Ghlam Nabi said.
Even the bank officials, teachers say, are reluctant to sanctioned loans in favour of SSA teachers. “They (bank officials) know the fate of our salaries and show extreme reluctance in sanctioning loans in favour of SSA teachers. This can be no worse humiliation for a teacher than this,” said another teacher Muhammad Ishaq.