After fighting for 51 days, Deepak Kumar, an aspiring elementary teacher, on Saturday climbed down from the mobile tower of Sector 3 in Chandigarh. As his feet touched the ground, there was a lot to look back and forward for this 35-year-old teacher from Fazilka.
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Kumar had been a ‘resident’ of the tower in protest, demanding a job from the Punjab Government. Armed an appointment letter in his hand, Kumar is now ready to bring back his wife, who had walked out because he did not have a job.
“My family is very happy today as I finally have a job,” Kumar said while speaking to Chandigarh Newsline. “I am overjoyed that my fight for 51 days didn’t go waste. I finally have managed to win the battle and get my due.” Kumar, who will soon start teaching the children in Punjab’s Taran-Taran district, is all set to visit Sirsa, where his wife is living with her parents. “She left me as I didn’t have a job. Now, I am sure she will come back soon as I am employed. It doesn’t matter that my monthly salary is low. But I have a government job’s tag with me, which is more important. I will convince her to come back,” Kumar added.
On Saturday morning, few members of Elementary Teacher Training (ETT), Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) Pass Unemployed Teachers’ Union brought Kumar down with the help of the police and a hydraulic crane, which was used for the purpose. Earlier, on two occasions, the Union had failed to convince Kumar.
The Chandigarh police had even asked for medical assistance, but it was refused by Kumar. “I gave an affidavit to the administration that I will be responsible for my health conditions. After reaching Fazilka, I will visit the doctor myself,” he said.
After coming down from the mobile tower, Kumar shared how he survived without proper food for so many weeks. “Till the time, Rakesh was with me (41 days), we had food. Then, I stopped consuming solids, expect water,” Kumar added.
Rakesh Kumar, another aspiring teacher, who had climbed the tower with Deepak, had decided to come down on December 13, after he was handed an appointment letter by the government.
After December 13, Kumar said he survived on water. “When we climbed the tower, we had taken 80 liters of water with us. On Saturday morning, just 1.5 litres were left with me. I would take water few times a day, which kept me alive,” he said, adding that he used to answer nature’s call when it was dark and the security personnel deployed around the tower would go to sleep.
Kumar may have won the battle for a job, but for the ETT Union, the fight for justice will not end until all aspiring teachers get jobs. “We are expecting all the remaining teachers will get a job soon, because the government has already submitted an affidavit in the court,” informed Amarjit Kamboj, president of Aspiring Elementary Teachers’ Association.