Poverty, hunger, joblessness: Contractual lecturers suffer in silence
Srinagar, May 16: Lateef Ahmad Baba, 44, a college contractual lecturer who served in higher education department for 16 years, has exhausted all his savings for the last 10 months.
Baba, who had joined the higher education department in 2004 as a contractual lecturer, has been without salary post-August 2019.
“I have given my youth to this department. Now I am not eligible for any other job because I have crossed the age limit. Since August 2019, the UT government has not released my salary,” Baba said.
What has complicated the problem is that he has exhausted all his savings to meet his family expenses. “Despite serving the department for years, I have been told that I am of no use. Isn’t it injustice? Where will I go at this point in my life?” he asked.
Another contractual lecturer, who has been in this department for the last 10 years, has been selling his gadgets to feed his family during the lockdown.
“I am the sole breadwinner of my family. I have not been paid for the last 10 months. If the condition persists, I would have no other option left but to commit suicide along with my family,” he said.
Dr. Fayaz Ahmad, 55, another contractual lecturer, who served the department for more than 25 years has also been left to fend for himself.
“I have been in this department since 1995. Everything was going well till August last year. Since then I have not received a penny from the government. We have been categorized as surplus candidates,” Dr. Fayaz said.
Director Colleges, Mohammad Yaseen Malik said they have asked colleges to engage the contractual faculty and release their salaries.
“If any college principal is deliberately denying work to the contractual faculty, it will be a criminal act. We have already given direction to principals to engage lecturers,” he added.