SRINAGAR: When Arshad Ahmad of Anantnag was appointed as ReT seven years ago both he and his family were delighted. Their joy knew no bounds when his temporary job was regularised two years ago. However seven years after his appointment he regrets over his decision.
“Teaching is a prophetic 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 borrow money from friends and relatives to meet his daily needs.
“Since my job was confirmed 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 day by hitting the roads. What else can be the humiliation for a teacher than this,” Arshad rued.
At least 30,000 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 the only one who laments on the “ill treatment” met out to teachers. 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 their colleagues suffering from a kidney failure was dying for want of medicine. “One of the teachers of my zone is suffering from kidney failure. It costs him lot of money. But due to the non-payment of salary his family has been forced to virtually beg. We have lent some helping hand to him but how long his collleaugues can help him as they themselves remain unpaid,” Ghulam Nabi told Kashmir Reader.
Another teacher, he said, had to sell the golden ornaments of his wife few months back to buy some costly medicines for his ailing father.
Even the bank officials, teachers say, are reluctant to sanction loans in their favorite. “They (Bank officials) know the fate of our salaries and show extreme reluctance in sanctioning loan in favor of SSA teachers,” said an SSA teacher Muhammad Ishaq.
Last week, Education minister Altaf Bukhari said the problem faced by the teachers working under SSA due to non-payment of salaries was a serious concern. He said that against the approved Central allocation of Rs 1750 crore during the current fiscal (2016-17), an amount of Rs 726.00 crore was still pending with the GoI.