Mom to minister: please, help my son pass - Ram stumped by BJP worker's request at janata durbar, rebukes teacher for seeking transfer

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 3.02.12
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Ranchi, Feb. 2: Of all the questions and grievances he was ready to tackle at a janata durbar, HRD minister Baidyanath Ram had certainly not bargained for this — a request from a woman to ensure that her son cleared the impending intermediate exams.

So, Ram was visibly stumped when Shanti Devi, a BJP worker from Kanke, simply walked up to him at the public meet held at the party office today and said he should use his office to ensure that her son passed the exam. Shanti also gave her reasons — she had little faith in the functioning of the Jharkhand Academic Council.

Not entirely an unreasonable request from a concerned mother given last year’s dismal report card — the overall success rate in intermediate exams was a shocking 42.29 per cent. But for a minister whose own son could not clear the exam, it was time to set the record straight — he cannot influence examiners.

“I could do very little when my son failed in the intermediate exam last year. I am not sitting here to influence the examiners. I didn’t even try to get undue favour for my son. How can you expect me to do it for your son?” asked a stunned, but stern, Ram.

The minister also had to turn away another woman, this time a teacher who requested him to arrange her transfer to a new place. “You are a teacher, don’t you know that you can’t write a letter directly to the minister. Should I order appropriate actions against you?” Ram admonished.

There were some genuine grievances though.

A delegation of teachers demanded that like Bihar, the retirement age of university teachers in Jharkhand be raised to 65 years and that they be given arrears under the fifth pay scale. Ram also received several complaints related to delay in payment of pension and such other problems faced by retired university teachers and employees.

One Md Mustakin Ansari said libraries in a majority of educational institutions were not functioning properly in the absence of librarians.

Former BJP MLA Chhatruram Mahto sought Ram’s help for setting up a BEd college in Gomia. A para-teacher from Khelari complained that though he was appointed in September 2010, he has received salaries for only three months.

A delegation of high school teachers pleaded for regularisation of their services. They maintained that over 600 teachers were working at around 230 schools across the state for the past several years. They argued that regularisation of their services wouldn’t put extra burden on the state exchequer as they were not demanding any arrears.

Ram promised to consider all their demands if they gave it in writing. His order was immediately complied with.

The minister’s personal staff, who assisted him at the janata durbar, said over 51 complaints or petitions were received today. All of them have been forwarded to the departments concerned for necessary actions.