Umesh Gaikar, a 29-yearold primary school teacher from Penn in
“My wedding ceremony can wait, but the
He says that his family, his fiancée and her family agree with this decision.
Gaikar is among the primary school
“The teachers are stationed at district borders where they are registering details of all the people entering a particular district. In the interiors, many of them are working at the panchayat offices, keeping records of villagers returning from bigger cities, some are even guarding the quarantine centres,” said Nitin Dahifale, secretary of Gyandeep Primary Teachers’ Association.
The president of the association, Vasudev Bade, said that even the senior citizens and physically-challenged teachers are helping out in the task. “Some have even cancelled their holidays to take part in this work. In fact, a couple of teachers in Sangli district passed away after coming in contact with some suspected Covid patients. The families of these teachers have now lost their only breadwinners,” he said.
The association says that like the police force in urban areas, the state government must extend an insurance cover to these frontline workers too. “The teachers are often working round the clock in shifts, coming in contact with hundreds of migrants every day. They are doing all this without any provisions from the state. Even the masks and the sanitisers they need are brought by them,” said Dahifale.
Bade said that the association has made a request to the state government to make appropriate provisions for the teachers who are also government employees, engaged in the state’s work. “We also request the government to keep the dignity of our profession in mind while allocating duties. For example, some teachers were given duties outside the alcohol shops which would give out a wrong signal to the students in these vulnerable areas,” he said.
The association has also requested the government to provide concession from these duties to physically challenged, those above 55 years of age and teachers suffering from diseases such as diabetes that make them more vulnerable than others.