Teacher on the Trail: Ready to Pay Back, Kids to Feed | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: Vivek Bhatia sits near the Sultanpuri level crossing and sells clothes for a living. Bhatia is a teacher in a company run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation primary school, but with the civic body unable to pay the salaries of teachers For several months now, the desperate 37-year-old has had to set up a roadside booth to put money in his wallet. Bhatia has loans to repay and the tuition fees of his children to pay. Worried to the extreme and finding no other way, Bhatia embarked on her new vocation 52 days ago.
“I sell clothes only a mile from my school, but I had to overcome my hesitation and embarrassment to survive. At least it’s better than begging, ”whispered Bhatia, who teaches at G Block Primary School in Sultanpuri. “Despite serving the city in ration distribution centers and conducting door-to-door surveys to identify people infected with Covid, we, the teachers, are being treated in this way.”
More than 9,000 primary school teachers from the North Corporation, all of whom were on special duty during the pandemic, some in ration centers, others as Covid investigators, still others as rescuers, received their last salaries in July. Bhatia joined the company’s education department in 2006. “The trouble started in 2014, with our salary delayed by 10 days, ”explained the teacher. “The delays then extended to one month, two months and now we haven’t been paid for five months. Why can’t we get paid for our hard work? It’s not like we’re asking for someone else’s money.
Bhatia, who has a mother, wife and three dependent children, had taken a to lend of Rs 15 lakh to renovate this house when it was damaged. “At that time, the municipal corporationthe financial situation of was fine and we were paid on time. But now, when I even receive my family’s rations on credit, how can I pay my children’s monthly loan payments and school fees? Bhatia despaired.
Teachers did not receive July salaries until November, just before Diwali. The June salaries had been paid in August. Bhatia says 80% of her salary is now spent on loan and interest repayments. “You can imagine my fate of being forced to indirectly pay interest to people from whom I had to take out loans when I am eligible for a monthly salary from my employers’ organization,” he said.
With 9,000 other people of Bhatia’s ilk also in dire straits, the New Year does not seem worth celebrating. No wonder then, one of the primary teachers’ unions decided that the first day of 2021 would be considered a “dark day”.
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