Tamil Nadu

12,000 part-time teachers appeal for salary

D. Anandakumar and his family were forced to move to a makeshift shelter as he was unable to pay

D. Anandakumar and his family were forced to move to a makeshift shelter as he was unable to pay  

Nearly 200 physically challenged persons among them hit severely by lockdown

D. Anandakumar, 43, a physically-challenged person who teaches drawing in a government-run school in Sholavaram in Tiruvallur district, is one of nearly 12,000 part-time teachers employed for a monthly salary of ₹7,700.

Since his teaching job pays him only for 11 months and not in May when the schools are closed, he takes up painting jobs to augment his income.

“My wife occasionally works as an agricultural labourer. With two sons in school, we were managing somehow with these incomes,” he says.

However, with the lockdown due to COVID-19, which stopped all other sources of income, coupled with no salary for May, Anandakumar and his family were forced to move to a makeshift shelter as he was unable to pay rent.

“My houseowner is also an autorickshaw driver, who is struggling. He did not pressurise me for rent. But with around ₹15,000 pending as rent for nearly three months and with no clarity on when I will get my salary, I thought I cannot continue to stay there,” he says.

He added that of the 12,000 part-time teachers, nearly 200 were physically challenged, and were struggling to meet their expenses during the lockdown.

C. Senthil Kumar, State coordinator, Tamil Nadu All Part-Time Teachers’ Association, said that non-payment of salaries for the month of May had been an issue since their appointment in 2012.

Special appeal

“We were initially paid ₹5,000 a month and later it was increased to ₹7,700. The original announcement envisaged payment of salaries for all 12 months. After appointment, the School Education Department arbitrarily started paying only for 11 months,” he said.

The association has made a special appeal to the Department to pay them at least this May, considering the difficulties faced by the teachers during the lockdown.

Alleging that the State government had failed to ensure adequate financial protection for differently-abled people during the lockdown, S. Namburajan, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently-Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC), said that the government must immediately announce a separate financial package for the differently-abled.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:56:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/12000-part-time-teachers-appeal-for-salary/article31654339.ece

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