30 personalities write open letter to Bengal CM over para-teachers' stir

Kolkata, Nov 28 (PTI) Thirty prominent personalities, including human rights activists, wrote an open letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday, urging her to intervene and put an end to the impasse over the ongoing agitation of para-teachers.

Urging Banerjee to intervene in the hunger strike by 37 para-teachers, the letter regretted that there was no response from the the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) to end the indefinite fast, which began on November 15.

Bhagirath Ghosh, co-convenor of the 'Para-Teacher Oikya Manch', the organisation spearheading the movement, said a para-teacher was still under treatment at the NRS Hospital here after falling sick five days ago.

The signatories to the open letter included APDR's Sujato Bhadro and social activist and columnist Miratun Nahar.

Ghosh said the letter was given to the CMO at Nabanna, the state secretariat, but they did not get a receipt copy.

Over 1,000 para-teachers, who are contractual teachers in government-run schools, are on a sit-in since November 11. At least 37 of them are on an indefinite hunger strike from November 15.

Education Minister Partha Chatterjee earlier put the onus of the impasse on the previous CPI(M)-led Left Front government in the state.

Despite financial constraints, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government hiked the salary of para-teachers in 2018, he had said.

Ghosh said the para teachers were demanding a monthly salary above the scale of the Group D employees of the state, in the region of Rs 22,000-25,000.

They were also demanding that they should be called 'elementary teachers' and not para-teachers anymore, he added. PTI SUS RC