by Shefali Rafiq
Srinagar: Sitting under the shadow of a Chinar tree at one corner of the crowded Partap Park in Srinagar, scores of the contract based teachers under the banner of Contractual Teachers Association of Kashmir (CTAK) continued their protest on the 58th day today, demanding the continuation of their services.
Blaming authorities for turning a blind eye towards their plea, the protesting teachers said that nobody among them wants to travel from far-away places and shout here in the middle of the city centre. We just want to get our demands fulfilled so that we can be back to our jobs, they said.
Terming the seriousness of government towards unemployment as a hoax, they said on one hand government promises to end the unemployment in the state, while on the other side they compel youth to hit the roads.
Despite approaching the higher authorities time and again, no initiative is being taken for them; “I’m unable to understand that why are we being treated like this, why they are not serious about our issues. They need to devise a proper mechanism to address such long pending issues,” the protesting teachers told this reporter.
“The government utilized our services when they needed us but once they are done with our services, they left us like trash,” said one of the protesting teachers Shazia from Anantnag.
On November 16, 2018, they were disengaged and on January 15, 2019, they were told to join back but after a period of four months, they were disengaged again on May 10, this year. “Is government playing a joke with us or what,” asked another protestor.
Holding placards and banners that read; ‘Save the Youth’, ‘Save the Nation’, ‘We Need Continuation’ and ‘We Want Justice’, protestors demanded an early redressal of their “genuine” demand. “We demand that the government should take this matter seriously and continue our services,” they said.
Threatening for more demonstrations, the teachers said they will hit the streets and intensify more protests if their demands are not fulfilled on immediate basis.