The indefinite fast by para-teachers in West Bengal demanding a hike in their salary entered the seventh day on Thursday, with the organisation spearheading the agitation claiming that one of its members died due to mental and physical stress in West Midnapore district.
Revati Raut, a middle-aged para teacher who had taken part in the sit-in by para-teachers here for several days, died at her home in Debra in West Midnapore on Thursday, Bhagirath Ghosh, Co-Convenor of the ‘Para-Teacher Oikyo Manch’, the organisation which is spearheading the movement, told news agency PTI.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has also appealed to all sides to initiate dialogue for resolving the issue.
“There will be a meeting to mourn her death at the agitation venue tomorrow which will be addressed by people from various walks of life,” he said. Over 1,000 para-teachers, who are contractual teachers in government-run schools, were on a sit-in since November 11.
Altogether 37 of them are on an indefinite fast from Friday. Ghosh said there had been no word from the government about ways to address their demands hiking their salary and have pay parity with Group D employees. Para-teachers at primary schools and high schools are paid a monthly salary of Rs 10,000 and Rs 13,000 respectively, which should be raised to Rs 22,000-25,000 limits, Ghosh said.
He said though para-teachers are the backbone of the schools, especially in the districts, they are the most neglected lot and “repeated deputations to the education department officials and the education minister failed to yield any positive result.”
West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Wednesday the para teachers should show the urge to come for talks with the government.