Vijayawada: Narayana Rao, head of the department for political science at VSM Aided College in Eluru, after serving for 26 years, is soon to retire without any pension or financial security. At a time when the minimum wage of a helper is fixed at Rs 8,074, the lecturer is drawing a salary of just Rs 11,500.
Coming from a agriculture background and with no ancestral property to fall back on, Rao is worried about his future after retiring from his job in March 2019. “I joined as a lecturer in 1993 in the aided college with a hope that the government would regularise the job and help me lead a comfortable life. After all, I'm a post graduate and in those days, being a post-graduate mattered a lot,” said Rao.
However, due to a glitch in government policy, Rao and 59 others like him who are about to retire in less than four years are not eligible for equal salaries and pension benefits like their regularised counterparts, said BV Ramesh, general secretary of the Affiliated College Teachers’ Association (ACTA).
Explaining further, Ramesh said all the lecturers who had joined aided colleges between 1985 and 1993 and have not completed 600 days of work by November 1993 were denied regularisation of the posts.
“There are many lecturers who completed 597 days or 560 days by 1993 and are still not regularised. Some of those lecturers have passed away and those who are alive are still fighting for their rights,” Ramesh added.
Meanwhile, those lecturers who joined after 1993 have been regularised and are being paid as per government scale. There are certain peons and helpers drawing better salaries than these lecturers, Ramesh told TOI.
“Before I die, I wish to see that my work is recognised. Not just me, there are many others who are soon to retire and they should also get justice. The government should consider our service and pay us according to the time scale,” said Rao. He added that it is the least the government can do to compensate them for the financial and emotional stress they faced for the past two decades.