| The protesters at Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College. Picture by Biplab Basak
Siliguri, Sept. 5: Contract teachers and technical support staff of Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College today took to a new way of protest against alleged government indifference towards regularising them and increasing their salary.
Squatting at different parts of the engineering college campus, the protesters held bowls in their hands, begging for alms and shouting slogans against the state government.
“We intend to tell people about the plight of teachers like us. People get to know of occasions when the government felicitates teachers for their contribution, but they should also be aware of the situation we are in,” said Diptesh Chakrobarty, the president of West Bengal Government Engineering and Technical Colleges Contractual Teachers’ Association.
The contract teachers and technical staff at six government engineering institutes across the state have launched an indefinite strike since September 1.
Their demand list included immediate regularisation of their service, filling up of vacant posts of faculty and staff members at these technical colleges and a raise in their salaries.
“We have been receiving the same salary since the past seven years. We are engaged as full-timers here but get half the pay. Though the state finance department has passed the order to regularise us, some officials of the higher education department are delaying the process,” Chakrobarty said. “If this goes on, we will have to take to begging on the streets to earn a living.”
His colleagues at Behrampore, Serampore, Salt Lake, Kalyani and Beleghata said they will organise a similar protest (begging) in front of Bikash Bhavan and Writers’ Buildings on September 11 and 12.
Sajal Dasgupta, the director of technical education, could not be contacted for comment.