Odisha SunTimes Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 24:
Family members of 40,000 block grant teachers in Odisha will observe chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s birthday on October 16 as ‘Starvation Day’.
All block grant teachers and their family members will observe dawn to dusk token fast on Thursday, chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s birthday, announced Odisha Secondary School Teachers’ Association (OSSTA).
In order to streamline secondary education in the state, an Act was passed in 1994 for providing for grant-in-aid to schools. The system was replaced in 2004 by block grant, a grant system devoid of annual increment in salary and dearness allowance, which has demoralized 40,000 teachers in Odisha, said Prakash Chandra Mohanty, general secretary of OSSTA.
Mohanty said OSSTA had apprised the chief minister with the problems of the teachers on numerous occasions, but in vain forcing them to go for a massive agitation.
OSSTA hoped that the decision to observe the chief minister’s birthday as ‘Starvation Day’ will have some impact on the state government failing which it will intensify its agitation, said Mohanty.
Mohanty said family members of these teachers across the state will hold protest demonstration in front of statues of Biju Patnaik on his birthday on March 5 next year. If no action is taken by the government to mitigate the problems of these teachers, they will gherao the state assembly, he warned.