Bengaluru schoolteacher who left her family to take up job working without pay for four years
A Dhananjayan, president, Karnataka Tamil School and College Teachers Association, who is running from pillar to post to help her, charges that palms have to be greased in the education department
BENGALURU: K Thanalakshmi from Sankarankovil in Tenkasi district in Tamil Nadu had to leave her husband and two teenaged girls back home to take up the job of a Tamil teacher at a government-aided school in Bengaluru. However, four years later, she is yet to get even a single month's salary at the Tagore Memorial High School in Yeshwanthpur.
With her Masters's degree in Tamil and a B.Ed degree, Thanalakshmi got an appointment letter as 'Tamil Pandit' here on November 29, 2017. The letter also states, "Your salary will be fixed and claimed only after the approval of your appointment by the Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Bangalore North Range-I". It is here that the crux of this problem lies.
While the government had given its approval for filling up the posts here and a few other schools in 2015, it has not yet okayed the appointment of the specific individuals to the post.
Thanalakshmi has been given a room to stay at the hostel here and some kind of food arrangement has been made by the school management. She told TNIE, "I want to be paid a salary more than anything else. I am clinging on to the hope that I would get it someday and have sacrificed so much in life for this job. I have paid Rs 2.9 lakh so far to confirm my appointment through an intermediary. But I have still not been paid my salary even for one month."
A Dhananjayan, president, Karnataka Tamil School and College Teachers Association, who has been running from pillar to post to assist her, charges that palms have to be greased in the education department to get things done. "Mediators are used by individuals in the education department to convey their demands. The file is said to be doing the rounds in different offices. The latest demand was of Rs 2 lakh to quickly complete the process in a week was made by one Manjunath in the Education Commissioner's office," he alleged.
State Minister of Primary and Secondary Education B C Nagesh told TNIE that the Chief Minister had in a meeting in Belagavi on December 21 approved the appointment of many such individuals across the state who were suffering in a similar situation. "Her appointment would be approved soon and she would start getting her salary in future," he assured. Nagesh urged her to come forward and file a complaint against anyone making any demands in the department. "Action would be taken against such individuals," he added.
Commissioner for Public Instruction S Vishal said that 70 school appointees in the Bengaluru and Mysuru Region alone were facing a similar issue. "While the government mandates that the job needs to be advertised in a newspaper printed across the state as well as the biggest circulated daily in the specific district of appointment, private institutions just place the ad in the district pages and try to circumvent the rules. If it is not done correctly, how can we approve such appointments," he said.
Vishal added that if the state decides to amend the Karnataka Educational Institutions (Recruitment and Terms and Conditions of service of employment in Private, Aided, Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions) Rules 1999 or gives him permission in writing to approve the appointments, he would be able to do so.