Maharashtra: 13 Non-Marathi Teachers Not Paid Salary For Past 6 Months, Face Constant Discrimination

Sudhanva Shetty

July 26th, 2017

Image credits: livemint

13 teachers in Ulhasnagar, Thane have been forced to endure discrimination and financial distress for almost five years. Their plight became even more desperate after the school authorities refused to release their salaries for the past six months, even demanding bribes from the distraught teachers and their families.

The teachers have sought the aid of various government institutions online and offline but to no avail.


13 teachers  in Ulhasnagar, Thane were transferred from Sindhi-medium schools to Hindi-medium schools five years ago due to lack of new admissions in the former.

The teachers obliged to the decision and were re-employed in the new schools. But here, they have had to face regular discrimination of all sorts from the new schools’ authorities and government officials since the date of their joining.

Worked overtime, teachers still deemed as surplus teachers

Speaking to The Logical Indian, Nikita Kataria, who is the daughter-in-law of one of the affected teachers, said, “The teachers from the Sindhi-medium schools got 3-4 classes at a time, had to deal with unnaturally extensive work load, multiple times their salary was delayed, and this time they haven’t even received it for the last 6-7 months. One of teachers affected was my  mother-in-law.”

Moreover, the teachers’ names are still not transferred to their new locations and they are still considered as surplus teachers. They hang between teaching students in their newly-assigned schools and receiving their salary from their old schools. They were and still are not receiving any benefits assigned to municipal schools because of their names not being transferred.

Salary not paid for six months

The situation has become worse now when these teachers have not received their salary since last 6 months even after multiple follow-ups with Zilla Parishad senior education officer, Ulhasnagar Municipal Mayor and the requests sent to Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.

The affected teachers and their families wrote letters or sent tweets to the Zilla Parishad senior education officer, Ulhasnagar Municipal Mayor, the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, the Maharashtra CM and even the Prime Minister.

“Teachers were even threatened by school authorities for taking the issue to higher authorities. The teachers were even asked to pay a bribe if they wanted their salaries dispensed,” Mrs Kataria said.

Linguistic discrimination

The teachers from the Sindhi-medium schools are not well-versed in Marathi; they are fluent in Sindhi and Hindi. The education department officials constantly discriminated against the Sindhi-speaking teachers. Even though the staff knew Hindi, they would refused to converse in the same, essentially isolating the Sindhi crowd for years.

Mrs Kataria said, “They are always facing problems because of language. I don’t understand: if it is a Hindi-medium school, what is the necessity to speak in Marathi?”

“For my mother-in-law, we are there for income. But for many teachers their salaries are the primary or only sources of income in their households. Imagine their plight. Ulhasnagar has multiple BMC schools – meaning, they are run by the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC). We have explained our situation to all the concerned authorities but no action has been taken. And it’s been over  six months now.”

“We are on the verge of crying”

The Logical Indian spoke with one of the affected teachers. On condition of anonymity, the teacher said, “We are given multiple classrooms simultaneously to teach in one go and we all are pretty aware of the condition of our government schools. We are on the verge of crying: because our salaries are not being dispensed, we have taken 2-3 loans with high interest rates so they can run our home expenses. The situation has become so desperate that we don’t have money to travel to school.”

She continued, “Since last week, we are being asked to work overtime. There is no communication as to when our long overdue salaries will be processed but it is mandatory for us to continue the work. The Senior Education officers and the current UMC Mayor are all aware of their situation, but we continue to suffer.”

“How can anyone live like this?”

The Logical Indian tried contacting the Maharashtra Board of Education on five different contact numbers. Two of these rang but there was no response.

Nikita Kataria says, “Teaching, I have heard, is the noblest profession. Teachers, who are our second parents, play a big role in shaping our careers. They are our mentors, constantly motivating us to lead a better and honest life. Now such teachers, who are working towards the development of our nation, are themselves in a desperate situation … Imagine six months without getting paid. We all have EMIs, daily household expenses, children’s education, health expenditure, and everyone needs money to buy food. How can anyone live like this?”

It is a matter of great concern that teachers have had to endure so much discrimination and financial bullying for over six months. The Logical Indian community requests the Maharashtra Board of Education, the HRD Ministry and other concerned authorities to look into the matter and dispense justice immediately.

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