Only you the Almighty can Save us: A Letter to God by Distressed SSA Teachers

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Abdul Rashid Dar

Dear Almighty:

I am an SSA teacher, an apartheid one, shattered, hopefully hopeless and on the verge of extinction. I , and my associates, 41000 in number, are fully engraved in chaos and drenched in grief. The humiliations and disappointments seem to accompany us perpetually. SSA teachers are being traumatized unnecessarily by the delayed tactics of higher authorities. There seems no interest on their part to solve the issue. These delaying tactics give burning pain and nothing has been provided so far for this tragic pain. We wrote many open letters to “worldly gods” to seek their interference but they never bothered to go through such letters and they put everything in the dustbin. These letters were addressed to the CM and the Governor of the state to honor the legitimate demands of SSA teachers but their apathy towards these fellow human beings speaks a lot.
SSA teachers are in shambles and every time they have to beat the drums to remind the government about their rights. Hunger strikes, lockouts, protests at headquarters, candle marches and other means of protests badly failed to get the attention of these stone hearted bureaucrats. They are deeply deaf and dumb to the vows of SSA teachers and are in denial mood and deliberately beating around the bush. This very approach of theirs has forced us to access Divine help.
Since the times of Adam(AS), it has been found that whenever a person is in distress, pain or suffering he comes near God for seeking refuge and solution to all his problems. Mankind hardly turns towards Him during his good times. Similarly SSA Teachers whose pleas have been rejected by the worldly gods have made their approach towards God They know the last and the only hope is Him now.
Being Omniscient, God knows everything about the SSA scheme. This (in)famous scheme was launched in J&K in the year 2002 and the teachers for this purpose were engaged in 2003 on the pattern of ReT. I, one among the SSA Teachers, demoted myself from Lecturer B.Ed college to SSA primary school teacher on the meagre pay of Rs 1500 against that of RS 8000 for the sake of job security as Government recruitment was banned at that time.
Similarly most of the SSA Teachers left their research programs and joined this noble job. In 2007 and 2009 I, like others, was denied the job by SSRB on the pretext of being already in the department. After that, service inclusion and NPS prevented most of us from applying for any other post. From 2008 onwards regularization orders were provided to these teachers as per the Government order number 396 which takes the ReT appointee into the General Line cadre.
Everything was alright and the schooling was going on smoothly when suddenly in 2015, Naeem Akhter, the then Education Minister, challenged the dignity of ReTs by doubting their degrees. This era marks the downfall of the teaching profession. He crucified the dignity of teachers and degraded their position in society. Akhtar failed badly to prove any fake degree of teachers but succeeded in molesting their honour and respect.
Syed Altaf Bukhaari succeeded him as Education Minister; he badly carried on his(Naeem Akhter’s) mission. by adding many tags to SSA teachers and declared them as contractual employees. He transferred their ownership to Noor Society and disowned them instead of providing orders to some 600 SSA teachers on their regularization. After that it was Chowdary Zulfikar who considered SSA Teachers as a disease like AIDS , which according to him , was untreatable. Mehbooba Mufti( ex-Chief Minister) to whom SSA teachers assumed was unaware about the reality shocked them on Eid ul Fitr when she declared them not employees at all and promised to own them in a phased manner. But, she was herself disowned along with her ministers from the government. The Governor and his advisors adopted the same path of dilly-dallying and this dilly-dallying has crumbled mentally these poor fellow teachers.
They use the Might is Right approach with SSA Teachers. They themselves provided the appointment orders and they themselves minutely scrutinize the same orders to find loopholes to disengage us. Presently we are nowhere to stand. We cannot go back to pursue higher education and earn higher degrees and neither we can apply for other jobs. The whereabouts of the Noor Society are still unknown to we people to which our ownership has been accorded. The leaders from different factions failed to plead our case. They acted like many cooks who spoiled the broth. Their disunity is the main cause of this mess and left us in the lurch. Nothing seems clear. It is chaos and chaos everywhere.
God, in this chaotic atmosphere we seek your refuge, we seek your assistance and help. Being Omnipotent, we want some potential to bear this loss. As we are living in the three different divisions we want your Omnipresence to heal us from this grief, sorrow and pain. We pray for honest, able and noble rulers so that others could not face the same in the future.

—The author is an SSA Teacher. He can be reached at: darrasheed@gmail.com

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