Reciprocate the goodwill of employees

Dear Editor,
Kudos for the article “SSA Teachers in Arunachal” (November 8) published in your daily.
Not all govt jobs holders are peons, teachers, office goers or officers. There are also labourers in the literal sense. And laborers too have their own classification as – casual, semi-skilled and high-skilled laborers. PWD/RWD/PHE are not the only labor departments; there are also other department where labor abounds. Similarly, not all job holders are regular ones or get their salary monthly. There are also contractual and contingency workers or staffs present in various field or departments. One classic example is the just concluded protests of SSA teachers association and the RMSA teachers association a fortnight before it.
Very often people tend to eschew away and go callous to the plights of so called contractual/contingency labors or staffs especially teachers. Well, no qualms to such heartless people for the also many who genuinely feel our woes.
Many from the above types of workers have dedicated almost two decade or more years of their lives to the service of the department or the state yet they don’t get their basic workers requirements and remains as casual, contingency or contractual labors. These people do their work without insurance coverage, no maternity leave, unequal payment for the same work, sans increment in their pay-scale and above all, irregularity in getting their due salary and such many minor and major ills. If one wishes to know of such workers, you need not look further, just ask the electrician or the plumber of your colony and not to forget the contractual teachers of SSA/RMSA.
Yes, it’s true; people will kill each other for a govt. job. For jobs are scarce and hard to come by. But after getting it, especially our people have an easy going attitude towards their profession. We lack professionalism ethics except for few. Our work culture is plagued by absenteeism, laziness, late coming and early departure from work. Govt job it be regular or contractual is taken as a kind of collateral; it is the leisure ticket to indulge in personal enterprise/earn lacs in near future. We dislike work but we’d like to be paid. Yes, such mentality exists.
Also equally true is that not all contingency or contractual workers are easy goers or in a more typical word- ‘kaamchors.’ As every action has equal and opposite reaction, so there are also very diligent and zealous persons in the above mentioned groups of workers. These so called workholic fills up the loopholes left by their easy-going colleagues and thus every work gets done as scheduled. Here we should not forget the service of hundreds of non-APST workers too. For they don’t need to run behind family or for personal enterprise as they are living thousand miles away from home. They just work and wait with gaping mouth for their salary.
It’s also a very harsh fact that when you don’t get your due salary in time, the charm and the toxication that you had to your work eventually tends to fade; either it be the workholic or the non-APSTs and not to forget the easy goers who’ll just hibernate. This effect is more obvious when you are posted in one of the typical rural villages of our Arunachal.
The strike/protest of teachers has become more pronounced specially in the recent month. Many are indifferent and irritated. For every now and then they are in news just like the news about killings in J&K or the rape or burglary news of UP and Bihar. Nothing new, the same old thing, one is used to it. But sadly, our woes are increasing with each passing month. One will understand our plight only when you stand in our shoes.
One of the most persistent demands of whichever teacher association has been the salary hike and regular payment of salary. Why salary? It’s so because salary is the only means to meet our family needs. In that petty salary depends our life. In our salary lies our hope and expectations and many more little dreams and wishes are built upon that sum.
Those at the top echelons of power are creating new districts and promising newer posts every day. We are left to guessing as why the issue of contractual teachers is being an elephant in the room. One also wonders how would they feed the new ones when one is unable to contain the existing ones. Besides the teachers, there are more of contingency/contractual workers present in almost all departments accounting to thousands who also doesn’t get their due on time. Well let’s hope that those at the helm of power have a smart solution for it. One may also wonder why only teachers protest and the other contractual/contingency staffs are silent. Well, these people are silent not because they are content rather they are waiting for an opportune time to burst forth their own fury and frustrations.
To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind. Otherwise it becomes torture. For a third of the contractual teachers have already passed the prime of their life and is in no position to take up a new enterprise. All these years, the contractual teachers have been treated torturously. The pain is such that one feels the pang, at the same because you are accustomed to it, you endure it. The condition of the protesting teachers is much worse than the life of indentured labourers. The masters want our labor but they are unwilling to pay and provide basic amenities. We the teachers are employed, at the same time we are literally dying.
There is a saying, “if you take care of your workers, they’ll take care of your business.” Truly, work without pay and basic amenities sucks the life out of you. How can one starve thousands without pay for months?
It would be a relief it the concerned authority releases the salary every month or at least after regular interval of say 1-2 months instead of taking 4-5 months time or indulging in percent business. It’s high time that the authority reciprocates their goodwill by acknowledging the demands of the teachers in lieu of their service to the state.
Kana Naya