Rajib Ray, president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association, said that this was the first time ever in the history of the university that employees were forced to be on streets for salaries
Mohd Aasif | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Braving the deadly coronavirus disease, teachers of Delhi University (DU) took to physical protest to show their solidarity with employees of the 12 DU colleges, fully funded by the Delhi Government, who have been forced to go without salaries for the last four months.
Challenging Section 144 of CrPC in force, over 150 teachers gathered at Mandi House on Friday and formed a human chain at 2 pm amid heavy police deployment.
In response to the request for the protest, the DCP New Delhi District, IPS Dr. Eish Kumar Singhal, had refused to permit the gathering. Protesters were asked to vacate the spot by the police and paramilitary forces to avoid the process of detention. Yet, teachers formed a human chain and shouted slogans.
Shedding light on the gravity of the situation, Rajib Ray, president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), said that this was the first time ever in the history of DU that employees were forced to be on streets for salaries.
A “sandwich-like situation” has occurred for the 12 college teachers with both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party wanting to govern the bodies of the 12 DU colleges. Both parties want to see ‘their’ man as the chairman of the governing bodies of the colleges. In this tug-of-war between the BJP and the AAP, teachers, being citizens of Delhi, are leaning toward the AAP which claims to be a pro-education party, said Dr. Abha Dev Habib, physics teacher at Miranda House college and DUTA treasurer.
Dr. Habib told Clarion India that the crisis of inadequate grants in all the 28 Delhi Government-funded and aided colleges of DU had continued for over a year due to this tussle though ad-hoc teachers and non-teaching staff, she admitted, had no role in the formation of these bodies.
“In the 12 DU colleges that depend on 100% funding by the Delhi Government, teachers and non-teaching employees have not received salaries and pensions for months. While most of these colleges have not been able to pay salaries after April, some were not even able to pay full salaries for even April to employees”, said Rajib Ray.
When DUTA approached the Delhi Government, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had responded by making certain sweeping charges of corruption against these colleges. However, Dr. Habib said that Sisodia failed to explain why the current and retired employees of these colleges were being needlessly victimised. “Delhi Government also failed to justify playing with teachers’ lives in such a situation of widespread distress”, she added.
Speaking on the allegations made by the Deputy CM, Dr. Habib told Clarion India that the government could go through the three levels of audits of colleges done by different auditing agencies to pinpoint the corruption and punish the culprit. “But victimisation of general employees and teachers is not justified”, she added.
Calling the situation ‘unfortunate’, DUTA says that the inordinate delay in releasing adequate grants is causing untold hardships for the teachers and non-teaching staff, even though these are among the best colleges of DU.
“In this health crisis, the Delhi Government is expected to work towards ensuring the mental and physical well-being of its citizens. Its current stand on these colleges amounts to nothing less than a callous abdication of its own responsibility”, asserted Rajib Ray.