UP Madrasa Teachers Stage Protest Over Unpaid Dues for 6 Years, Cite 200 Deaths Due to Poverty

On January 4th, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath halted the honorarium or "additional money" given to around 21,216 teachers across approximately 7,000 Madrasas across the state. The central government and the state government were supposed to contribute in the ratio of 60:40, respectively, but the center had already stopped its contribution under the scheme six years ago.
The Uttar Pradesh government has stopped the honorarium given to around 21,216 teachers across approximately 7,000 Madrasas across the state.
The Uttar Pradesh government has stopped the honorarium given to around 21,216 teachers across approximately 7,000 Madrasas across the state.Image- Pratikshit SIngh/The Mooknayak

Lucknow- The teachers hired under the Madrasa Modernisation plans have been protesting at the Kanshiram Eco Garden for the last 43 days. The protesting teachers allege that they have been working without payments for the last six years. The teachers claim that around 200 of their fellow teachers have died due to poverty and hunger after not receiving payment. On January 29, the teachers were arrested when they tried to meet the chief minister and marched towards the Vidhan Sabha after no one came to meet them.

Ashraf Ali, the state president of the Madrasa Modernisation Teachers Association, told The Mooknayak that the Madrasa Modernisation scheme had been included in the Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto. Therefore, madrasa teachers voted for the BJP in large numbers. However, with the halt of the honorarium, the teachers are facing challenges. If the government renews the honorarium, then the teachers will once again vote for the government.

On January 29, the teachers were arrested when they tried to meet the chief minister and marched towards the Vidhan Sabha when no one came to meet them.
On January 29, the teachers were arrested when they tried to meet the chief minister and marched towards the Vidhan Sabha when no one came to meet them.Image- Pratikshit SIngh/The Mooknayak

Madrasa Modernisation Scheme

According to this scheme, recognized madrasas from Madrasa Boards in the states were to be provided with teachers in modern subjects like English, Hindi, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics to equip madrasa students with knowledge of non-religious subjects, helping them gain formal knowledge.

The scheme consisted of two sub-schemes:

  1. Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM): Aimed at improving the quality of education in madrasas by providing financial assistance for teaching subjects like Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Hindi, and English.

  2. Infrastructure Development of Minority Institutes (IDMI): Focused on improving infrastructure in madrasas to benefit girls and children with special needs.

On January 4th, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath halted the honorarium or "additional money" given to around 21,216 teachers across approximately 7,000 Madrasas across the state. The central government and the state government were supposed to contribute in the ratio of 60:40, respectively, but the center had already stopped its contribution under the scheme six years ago.

Instead of salaries, an "additional money" of Rs 2,000 for graduate teachers and Rs 3,000 for post-graduate teachers was being provided. However, with the center and state government pulling the plugs, thousands of teachers have been rendered unemployed. It is noteworthy that madrasa teachers are drawn from every community in society.

The teachers claim that around 200 of their fellow teachers have died due to poverty and hunger after not receiving payment.
The teachers claim that around 200 of their fellow teachers have died due to poverty and hunger after not receiving payment. Image- Pratikshit SIngh/The Mooknayak

The Mooknayak spoke to some of the protesting teachers.

Speaking to The Mooknayak, Pankaj Kumar Mishra said, "The union government and the state government have stopped their contribution to the fund, and also the additional honorarium of Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 has also been stopped. We are demanding that the due amount is paid to us or else we will protest against this."

Ajay Kumar Srivastava, a mathematics teacher from an aided madrasa in Kushinagar, said, "We have not received the Central government's share for the last 6 years, and also the State Government's share. We also have not received the honorarium of Rs 3,000 as a post-graduate teacher for the last 7-8 months. People who have been teaching for the last 20 years are left with nowhere to go. We provide formal education to students from very poor backgrounds and connect them to the mainstream of society by teaching them subjects like maths and science."

Saidul Nisha from Mirzapur said, "We go every day for teaching but don't get anything; the people at home taunt us that we go for teaching but don't get anything."

Ubaida Begum from Mirzapur said, "The amount from the state government is due for the last 25 months, and from the Central government for the last 6 years, due to which we are facing acute poverty. If we do not get our due, we shall consider suicide," she said.

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