The agitating primary teachers called off their 14 day-long fast-unto-death programme this evening hardly couple of hours after the education department issued a notification increasing the grade pay scale of the primary teachers to Rs 3600 from the existing Rs 2600 per month. The increased salary will be effective from 1 August.

The agitating teachers started celebration with red abir saying, “It was their victory after a prolonged movement.” “Fourteen out of 18 teachers who are fasting in front of the Bikash Bhaban, education department head quarters at Salt Lake, for the last 14 days have fallen ill with presence of ketone bodies in urine.

Two teachers Debashis Burman and Manish Kumar Mondal were rushed to nearby Bidhannagar Seva Hospital after their body temperature drastically came down with severe breathlessness,” said Mrs Bela Saha Ghosh, one of the teachers. Ketone bodies are the watersoluble molecules containing the ketone group produced by the liver from fatty acids during period of low food intake while fasting.

Two other teachers Mrs Pritha Biswas and Mrs Aparajita Sen are also unwell. Pritha became unconscious last night and she was taken to the hospital for emergency treatment, Mrs Bela Saha Ghosh said adding that all of them are fasting with taking ORS and water.

Ms Aparna Sen, filmmaker and actress, visited the fasting teachers at Bikash Bhaban later in the day and spoke to them. “I would request both the chief minister and education minister to meet their legitimate demand of pay hike instead of wasting money by giving it for clubs and fairs c,” she said.

The agitating teachers affiliated to the Usthi United Primary Teachers’ Welfare Association started the fastunto-death programme since 13 July demanding their pay grade to be increased to Rs 4200 from the existing Rs 2600.

The state government will have to cough up an additional burden of Rs 4000 crore if it meets up the demands of pay restructure of the primary teachers