It took a 24-year-old man’s suicide to bring to light the hardships faced by his father and 160 odd teachers after their salaries were stopped by a bureaucrat two years ago. Now, his ‘sacrifice’ seems to have melted the government’s heart, which has decided to release their salaries forthwith, though no action has yet been taken against the former director of the Education department, who the teachers held singularly responsible for withholding their salaries. The affected teachers and their families had to face untold miseries with many claiming they are in debt because they had to borrow money from banks and relatives. News 18 spoke to many teachers tonight and they sounded relieved.
“Half of our issues are resolved but whatever relief has been provided to the teachers, it is because of the sacrifice my son gave. He paid with his life,” he said, adding, “It is a huge cost that I had to pay. I will never forget my son till the day I die,” said Bashir Ahmad Mir, father of Shoiab Bashir who last week recorded a video highlighting the sorry plight of teachers.
“I have suffered a lot during these two-and-a-half years because my salary was not paid. At times, I couldn’t afford medicines for my ailing mother. I was not in a position to pay fees for my kids’ education. The worries, hardships and mental trauma I have faced during this period is far beyond I can express,” Mohammad Amin Shah, another teacher said. “It is the sacrifice of Shoiab Bashir that our salaries would be finally released. We are thankful to the new director for pursuing our case,” he added.
News 18 was first to report about the circumstances that forced the youth to end his life in order to highlight the issue of the affected teachers.
The Education department, late Tuesday evening, issued a circular stating Rs 33 lakh crore have been set aside to disburse the pending salaries of the teachers. “The teachers will get their salaries before the weekend. They have every right to their earned salaries and we cannot deny them,” Tassaduq Mir, director Education told News 18. “I had taken up the issue with the higher ups articulating that this is these are their earned wages and they in turn authorised me to release the amount. We have money in our Samagra account and we will release the same,” Mir said.
Bashir had ended his life over family’s abject conditions after government stopped his father’s salary, apparently over his past links with separatism, for which police had given him a clean chit. In a brief video that he had recorded just before he consumed poison, he said that he is no longer able to bear the miseries of his family, which has been pushed to the brink.
“I am taking my life because I cannot bear the suffering of my family in the face of my father’s salary being withheld,” Shoiab Bashir had said in the clip. “I am sacrificing my life for all the teachers who like my father haven’t recieved their salaries,” he had said in the video. “I hope it moves government into action.”
Bashir’s tragic death sent shockwaves across Kashmir with many including his teacher father Bashir Ahmad Mir and his colleagues demanding a stern action against the former director of the Education department who was shifted out a few months ago. Social media users too hit out at the “whimsical” official with many saying he was responsible was the Bashir’s “murder”.
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