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Pay Us Salaries or Give Schools to Delhi Govt: MCD Teachers to BJP

While Shaheen Bagh & ‘tukde tukde gang’ find mention in BJP’s election rallies, NDMC teachers feel neglected.

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Camera: Umar Shah
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

We’ve been going through this for four years –they don’t pay our salaries for six months, sometimes four or three months. At present, we haven’t got our salary in three months. Can one run their household without being paid for three months?
Kuldeep Khatri, Chairperson of Shikshak Nyay Manch

Some 8,000 teachers of North Municipal Corporation of Delhi (NDMC) haven’t received their last three months’ salaries. Because of irregular salaries, blocked bonuses, non-payment of arrears, teachers have been finding it difficult to sustain themselves and their families.

All three MCDs are run by Bhartiya Janata Party and are suffering from budget deficits. NDMC is the biggest zone with 765 schools, over 8000 teachers looking after 2.9 lakh primary students.

While Shaheen Bagh, biryani, ‘tukde tukde gang’ find mention in BJP’s election rallies, NDMC teachers feel neglected.

‘How Do We Pay Rent, EMIs & Children’s School Fees?’

Pankaj Singh, an NDMC employee, has been working as a teacher for the last 25 years. Talking to The Quint he said, “Because of delayed salaries we have been facing a lot of difficulties. I had bought a plot of land, but to pay the monthly installments. I had to sell my village land.”

Some banks have gone on to even blacklist NDMC. Mukesh Jha’s colleague was denied loan application because of irregular salary. “He was told that NDMC has been blacklisted just like the banks did for Air India,” he said.

Talking about the impact of delayed salaries on mental health Mukesh added:

If the teachers themselves are depressed, won’t that affect their teaching? How do you expect them to perform their duties well and find interesting ways of teaching? I think teaching alone is difficult for them. 

Sarvesh Kumar was supposed to pay his kid’s school fees three months ago. He paid six months’ fees a few days before he spoke to The Quint. “We are failing to even provide for our children. Our arrears are due. Even Diwali bonuses are due. But now we want our salaries. Regular salary is a bigger issue for us than arrears,” he said.

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NDMC teachers wear black bands at work as a mark of protest against non-payment of salaries. 
NDMC teachers wear black bands at work as a mark of protest against non-payment of salaries. 
(Photo Courtesy: Kuldeep Khatri)
NDMC teachers have been wearing black bands to work since 28 January. 
NDMC teachers have been wearing black bands to work since 28 January. 
(Photo Courtesy: Kuldeep Khatri)

Since January 28, MCD teachers have been protesting, wearing black bands around their arms while teaching and performing other duties. Under the banner of Shiksha Samiti Manch, teachers protested in the cold winter of Delhi. They are upset that even after protests, strikes and a High Court petition, their woes continue.

BJP, in charge of MCDs, blames AAP for not releasing funds. AAP blames BJP government at the Centre for non-allocation of funds for MCDs. AAP has been asking the central government to raise its share in the budget which remains Rs 325 crore since 2001. However, stuck in the middle are some 8,000 teachers of NDMC who haven’t got last three months salaries and arrears as promised under the 7th pay commission.

Reports of ghost teachers, high dropout rates and 40,000 students without benches, are other issues that plague the NDMC.

Kuldeep Khatri, chairperson of Shikshya Nyay Manch, ahead of the Delhi Election asks, “Aren’t we citizens of Delhi? Aren’t our children residents of Delhi?”

In the end, he said, if BJP cannot bear expenses of MCD, they should hand it over to the Delhi government.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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