Ramakanta Biswas

Nearly one and a half lakh primary teachers working in various schools across Odisha are now enduring the bitter winter cold and sleeping under the open sky in the Capital city of Bhubaneswar

The teachers who had been teaching students to mould their future are now struggling for their own rights.  

The teachers have been agitating day and night under the aegis of the United Primary Teachers’ Federation for the past couple of days at the designated protest site at Lower PMG in the city to press for their demands.   

However, the protestors are forced to sleep under the open sky in the severe cold wave conditions. They were seen sleeping on the streets and under trees without any cover in the chilly night. 

 “1.45 lakh teachers from 71,000 schools across the State have been protesting in the capital city. However, the State government has been showing a step-motherly attitude towards us and has not accepted our demands yet,” said a protesting teacher.  

“We demand the government to give us six increments for due for six years and salary as per Centre and implementation of the old pension scheme,” he added.  

“Our protest will enter fourth day this morning, but the government is not ready to listen to none of our demands. We are pressing for our legitimate demands, nothing beyond that. But the government is indifferent,” said another protesting teacher. 

“The State government engaged us for a meagre pay. Keeping the financial condition of the State in mind, we extended full cooperation. However, as there is financial stability now, the government has forgotten us,” rued another protesting teacher. 

It can be mentioned here that the issue pertaining to teachers protest echoed in the ongoing winter session of the Orissa Assembly. Opposition BJP and Congress members created a ruckus in the House over the issue causing an impasse in the House.