SC/ST teachers put strike on hold after govt assurance

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Bhubaneswar: Thousands of SC/ST and physically handicapped (PH) teachers, who are on a strike under the aegis of Odisha SC/ST Ganasikhyaka Mahasangha on Thursday put their agitation on hold after State government assured to fulfill their demands.

The teachers who had tonsured their heads yesterday demanding regularisation of their jobs, today marched towards Naveen Nivas to gherao chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence. But, before the striking teachers could further act, the police made a preventive arrest of the teachers.

School and mass education minister Debi Prasad Mishra after a discussion with the teachers said that a decision regarding job regularization of the teachers would be taken within a couple of weeks.

“We are considering their cases. Since a lot of things including payment enhancement and emolument are involved it will take some time. Besides, we are also looking into legal restrictions of these cases,” Mishra said.
Confirming the talks, the Mahasangh said that they have faith on the government.

“We have put the strike on hold. If the government fails to take a decision before the ensuing assembly session, we will again hit streets,” Odisha SC/ST Ganasikhyaka Mahasangha president Prahllad Badseth said.

Sources said the State government in 2013 had assured the teachers to regularize their jobs after six years of service. But a year later, it regularised services of 69 teachers in Ganjam district.

“The state government has regularized and also increased the salaries of other agitating teachers recently, but not ours. Our salaries are so meagre, it is difficult for us to run our houses,” Badseth added.

Meanwhile, with no assurance from the government about their demands, the Odisha Vidyalay Sikhyak Mahasangh continued their strike.

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