January 28, 2022 10:12:12 pm
Legendary folk singer Sharda Sinha hit out at the Bihar government over non-payment of pension to former university teachers.
Following the demise of Isha Sinha, a friend and former professor at Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Sharda wrote in a Facebook post, “My friend, who had been battling with cancer, could have lived a little bit more had she got her pension money regularly. Her husband had to struggle a lot because of paucity of funds.” She said she was speaking on behalf of all former teachers who found it difficult to get by without regular pension.
Sinha, who began her Facebook post with the line “Ye andher kab tak (how long will this darkness continue?)”, wrote: “Is it the justice of Bihar government and university rules. Do I represent this state? I feel ashamed with this kind of life.”
Isha’s husband Sachchidanand Sinha failing to receive seven months of pension dues despite writing to top officials of the state government left a deep impact on her mind, said Sinha.
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She later told The Indian Express, “Why should a retired teacher bother about nitty-gritty of pension delays? One has right to live with dignity. Pension is a great reality of life after retirement.” Sinha retired as music professor from Women’s College, Samastipur (LNMU), in 2017.
She said her story of struggle with the establishment began when she had joined the college as a teacher in 1977. “My job was declared permanent along with other teachers in 2016 with effect from 1982. Yet, I got pending dues from 1986 only. That meant loss of four years’ salary,” she said, recalling how 16 other teachers, some of whom have passed away, had become permanent because of her efforts.
She demanded an autonomous consolidated pension fund to avoid delay in payment.
Additional Chief Secretary (education) Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express: “We are in process of clearing pension of university teachers. Pension dues of all teachers should be cleared by next week.”
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