Srinagar – Hundreds of Education Volunteers (EVs) and Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers went on hunger strike from Tuesday to press their regularization demand. They alleged the government had adopted delaying tactics to deny their rights.
Talking to Kashmir Observer, the teachers said they had been selected on merit during the PDP-Congress coalition government and were promised that EVs would be converted into ReT after two years on a monthly stipend of Rs 1,250. The government had issued orders to the effect (No Edu/Acad/15/2006 dated 16-03-2006; DSEK/Plg/Up-grd/EGS-ps/2007; Edu/spd/ssa/up-grd/7800/902 dated 16-03-2007.)
We were promised that we will be regularized after 5 years of service from ReT to regular teachers, but despite nine years of our service, we have not been regularized. We have been deceived by this government, said a group of protesting teachers.
They said some teachers were working as EVs and ReT for the past nine years and it had become very hard for them to continue on a meager salary.
Tracing the reasons for hunger strike, the teachers said they were peacefully marching towards the Civil Secretariat last week to urge the government to fulfill their genuine demands. However, police stopped and beat them in spite of the fact that they belonged to a noble profession and were holding a peaceful march.
We were peacefully marching towards the Secretariat when police used cane charge and water canon to disperse us, said Bilal Ahmad, a teacher.
The protesters said despite the tall claims by the government that it was doing everything to achieve cent percent literacy, it has failed at every sense: from construction of school building to midday meals and from implementing educational schemes to accepting genuine demand of teachers.
Senior leader of the Joint Consultative Committee, a conglomerate of various employees unions, Abdul Qayoom Wani, said the government had promised regularization of EVs on the pattern of 2+5 years would be effected shortly. He said they had met the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, thrice when he promised early redress. But till now no action has been taken, he said.
The government did not pay any heed to our genuine demands; we have no option but to demonstrate and resort to hunger strike, because the government has forced us to take the extreme steps to achieve our goal, said Tahir Khan, a teacher.
Last week, the police had arrested dozens of teachers including the JCC president.
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