Voluntary teachers on dharna for regularisation
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha affiliated union of voluntary teachers, the Janmukti Insecure Teachers' Organisation, today started an indefinite dharna outside the office of the Darjeeling District Inspector of Schools demanding verification of their documents and subsequent regularisation.
The JISTO, which comprises more than 500 voluntary teachers working in 129 junior, high and higher secondary schools in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration area, decided to stage the dharna after nearly 301 of their peers received approval for regularisation recently.
JISTO executive member Vivek Chettri said, “About 301 teachers have been regularised and the remainder of us should also be done so after verifying our documents. It was the DI who gave the approval and similar steps should also be taken for us. Today, only about 38 teachers who have not been regularised are participating in the dharna. The remaining 200 or so join the agitation that will continue until our demand is met.”
It may be mentioned here that after a major chunk of the JISTO members joined the TMC, the process for their regularisation started in the month of February this year. Sources have said 476 voluntary teachers have been verified so far and regularisation confirmed of about 301.
The GJM has alleged that only those who have joined the TMC have been regularised. On March 24, about 85 members quit the JISTO in Darjeeling saying the delegation that had gone to Kolkata to pursue the regularisation issue had handed over the documents of just the five representatives comprising the delegation and not of the remaining members.
Another JISTO executive member, Milan Gurung, said, “If approval for the 301 voluntary teachers could be given by the
Darjeeling DI after their document verification by the Siliguri DI, then it proves that she also has the power to process our regularisation.”
Darjeeling DI Rubina Tamang said, “It was the managing committee of the schools which sent me the recommendations for regularising 301 voluntary teachers after the documents were verified by the SSC. So I had to give my approval. We do not have a proper list of the voluntary teachers and therefore, I cannot give any assurance to those who come to meet members. Nonetheless, I will take up the matter with the higher authorities.” (EOIC)