The Central government is not paying its share to these teachers even after 2018. The reason behind this is that the Central government reduced the budget allocation for madrassas
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI — Uttar Pradesh’s madrassa teachers on Saturday said they had been burdened with debt and living a wretched life as they were not given their salaries by the Central government for the last four years.
Aijaz Ahmed, National President of Islamic Madrassa Modernisation Teachers Association of India (IMASS), told Clarion India that the Central government did not pay salaries of madrassa teachers working under SPEMM (Scheme for Providing Education in Madrassas and Minority Institutions) since 2016. The salaries for six months in 2016-17 have only been paid. Afterwards, the Central government released a salary of two months this November.
There are 25,000 teachers in 8,500 madrassas across the state under SPEMM.
After 2018, the state government has to pay a 40 per cent salary to those teachers. The state government is paying its share to the teachers continuously. But the Central government is not paying its share to these teachers even after 2018. The reason behind this is that the Central government reduced the budget allocation for SPEMM. In 2015-16, its allocated budget was Rs 375 crore. In 2016-17, the government reduced its budget to Rs 120 crore. In 2020-21, it increased it Rs 100 crore, said Ahmed.
“Due to this, some teachers even died by suicide. The financial condition of these teachers is extremely miserable. Most of these teachers are post-graduates and have a degree of B.Ed. They are TET-qualified. Some even pull rickshaws in the night for sustenance. But during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, this income source also dried up,” said Ahmed, who teaches at a madrassa in Bahraich.
He said that they had held several protest demonstrations at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi and met the former and current Human Resource Development Ministers Smariti Irani, Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal. But the government did not pay any attention to their issues. Lately, they had held a protest at Jantar Mantar in September.
Saeeda Rahman, who is also a teacher at a madrassa in Bahraich, said that her condition was miserable, adding that her husband died a year ago as she did not have money for his medical treatment as she had no money.
Saeeda has small children. One of her daughters was seriously injured recently and she spent a lot of money on her treatment. Now, she is burdened with debt. She said she had not been given even the state government’s share of her salary since March.
“How could I narrate my situation? I feel ashamed in narrating my miserable condition to anyone. I don’t know what to do,” she said.
Muhammed Fahim, who also teaches at a madrassa in Moradabad, said that he was also not receiving his salary for years. He was eking out a living by giving tuitions to children. And selling bed-sheets in the market.
“I make a little income through this. I’m earning my livelihood with a lot of difficulties,” he said.