On Monday, Chennai witnessed a protest by differently-abled teachers working in government institutions in Tamil Nadu which shed light on the state's apathy towards the community.
Over 15 teachers staged a dharna outside the Directorate of School Education on College Road in Chennai, demanding that their salary dues be paid.
They demanded that their jobs be made permanent as per government rules since they have worked for over two years at salaries designated for temporary employees.
The teachers also demanded that those who have taught Arts in government colleges for over a six year period be made permanent employees with a guaranteed government pension.
In addition to this, they also pointed out that the accessibility infrastructure in schools and colleges was non-existent, making it harder for them to access their workplace.
Sitting in the scorching sun, the teachers raised slogans demanding what is owed to them even as police officers called for their dispersal.
According to a report in The Hindu, S Namburajan, State General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC), said that there are 12,000 art teachers in government schools across the state, of which there are 150 teachers with disabilities.
Speaking to the newspaper, S Namburajan said, "Despite a special G.O. issued in 2008 which states that the teachers need to be made permanent employees if they have worked for more than two years, all of these 150 teachers are still in temporary posts. The G.O. had also stated that the teachers should be brought from the consolidated pay scale under the Time pay scale which too hasnâ€™t been implemented."
During the teachers' protest held earlier in May, Thiyagarajan, a differently-abled teacher, passed away while attempting to stage a protest outside the Tamil Nadu Secretariat.
Government school and college teachers in Tamil Nadu have been protesting against the newly introduced pension scheme in addition to demanding that their pay commission arrears be paid to them. They have also demanded that their employment be regularised by making permanent those who hold temporary contracts.