Pradeep Pattanayak

The sit-in staged by non-government college lecturers and employees at lower PMG in Bhubaneswar entered its fifth day on Monday. They have been demanding grant-in-aid from the State government. 

The protesting teachers and other college employees alleged they have never compromised with their duty and have been going the extra mile to shape the career of the students even without receiving grant-in-aid since 2008.

Even though they took up the matter with the Collectors, concerned Secretary and the Minister, none of them lent any ear to their demand, they alleged. 
The protestors said they had no other option but launch the demonstration which they have named ‘Adhikar Yatra-II’. 

“We have been deprived of grant-in-aid for 13 long years. During the period, we have seen Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s four terms. We have also seen Higher Education Ministers- from Sameer Dey to Arun Sahu- and Principal Secretaries of Higher Education department, from Bishnupada Sethi to Saswat Mishra. We have met all of them and requested their intervention in giving us grant-in-aid, but to no avail,” alleged president of Odisha State Non-government Lecturers’ and Employees’ Association, Biswaranjan Dash.   

“We have constantly been victims of administration inertia and lack of political will. We have taken up our issue with the Chief Minister and the Collectors. But our demand is not fulfilled as yet,” Dash added. 

The agitating lecturers said their dharana would continue till their demand is met.