Kasuri Ganesh, a 29-year-old guest lecturer in a government junior college in Veldanda of Telangana’s Nagarkurnool district, took his own life on Saturday, September 11 over alleged delay in receiving his salary for the last 18 months amidst financial problems. According to the police, Ganesh, who hailed from Bollampalle in Veldanda, was facing financial problems for the last few months. Inspector Ramakrishna from Veldanda police told TNM that Ganesh’s family says that his position at the government junior college was not renewed and he had not received his salary for the last many months. The case is under investigation.
Ganesh’s colleagues from the Telangana Government Junior Colleges Guest Lecturers’ Association (TGJCGLA) say that he was one among the 1,600 guest faculty members who are facing hardship due to not receiving their salary for the last 18 months. The association has demanded that Ganesh’s family be given Rs 10 lakh compensation besides a government job for one of his family members, considering it the responsibility of the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education and the government.
Speaking to TNM, Darla Bhaskar, General Secretary, said, “Ganesh took his own life as he had not received his salary for many months and couldn’t make ends meet. This is the result of the government’s apathy.”
The state has as many as 405 government junior colleges with around 1,600 faculty members working as guest lecturers for different subjects, besides other regular and contract staff. The TGJCGLA said that these 1,600 families are facing financial distress due to the government’s apathy. Though the association has submitted representations to government officials multiple times to disburse their salaries and renew their service, nothing seems to have been done in their favour.
According to Bhaskar, the guest faculty members participated in paper evaluation even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April 2020, and also taught online classes from September 2020 as per the government’s orders.
Bhaskar said, “After the first wave receded and colleges re-opened in February 2021, we did get back to work but neither did we get paid nor were we renewed for this academic year.” Each guest lecturer is given Rs 300 per class/period without exceeding 72 classes per month, which amounts to around Rs 21,600.
According to TGJCGLA members, though they were not paid, the guest lecturers have been working even in the ongoing academic year since June. Bhaskar said, “Today, Intermediate Board officials are claiming there are over 1 lakh admissions in government colleges without acknowledging our efforts. We reached out to rural students/parents and brought in admissions in the last three months though we were not paid or renewed.”
The guest lecturers are demanding that the government continue (renew) their services like they did for the 2020-21 academic year, apart from disbursing their pending wages before their families suffer more due to the financial distress.
When TNM sought an explanation on the allegations of the prolonged delay in salary disbursement to guest lecturers and about their demand for renewal of services, state Education Secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania denied the allegations of delay.
Claiming that guest faculty members were not deputed for online classes, Sultania said, “The faculty members who were appointed to work during the pandemic have been given salaries, they don’t get paid when they don’t work. As far as renewal of their services is concerned, we have received their representation, the matter is under process and the government will take a call on the same.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced thousands of teachers employed in schools and colleges to take up other jobs to keep their families afloat.
State government’s suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)
Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.
24×7 Helpline: 9820466726, Click here for working helplines across India.