UP Government is 'Harassing' and 'Exploiting' Us, Claim Madrasa Employees
Image Courtesy: Indian Express
Months after Yogi Adityanath became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the teachers and administrators of the madrasas in the State alleged that they are constantly being harassed by the State officials. The alibi of the “ongoing harassment” is the government directive which says that all madrasas must register themselves on a website which the Yogi government launched in August. It also states that the salaries of over several thousand employees working in the 560 government-aided madrasas will be released only after they get official clearances.
According to the data on the madrassa portal of the UP Board of Madrasa Education, there are 16,461 madrasas in the State, which includes 560 government-aided and 8,171 madrasas which are attached to the Madrassa Modernisation scheme run by the State. Every aided madrasa has about 10-15 teachers and they get Rs. 4-5 lakh per year financial aid from the State government.
According to the All India Association of Teachers of Madaris-e-Arabia (AIATM), an organisation of madrassa teachers in the country, the teaching and non-teaching employees of madrasas in UP, were being “victimised and exploited” by the government officials over the submission of the documents and entry of details on the government website.
Wahidullah Khan, the national general secretary of AIATM, told NewsClick state government officials repeatedly threatened to cancel the registration of madrasa. Salaries of many madrasas have been withheld because they were unable to fulfil such demands of the decades-old documents, he said.
Khan has written a letter to the CM alleging that the madrasas were being asked to provide documents which are “extremely difficult to provide”.
“The officials of minority welfare department is asking madrasa administrators to provide newspaper advertisements which were published to advertise a job which was filled up thirty years ago. In other cases, madrasa teachers have been asked to submit the receipt of the registered post from which they received their appointment letters. Teachers who have been working for decades can’t provide these documents. It seems that such demands are being made only to harass the staff, as such demands are not part of the rulebook or the circular of any government department,” Khan told Newsclick.
Rahul Gupta, the registrar of Uttar Pradesh Madrasa board, however, denied such demands being made by the madrasa board. He said that he was not aware of any such demands.
“When a teacher is appointed there are some documents to claim that appointment was made. We are asking only for the hard copy of that appointment letter or approval letter. The department officials are asking for the documents to verify the claims of the madrasa institutions,” Gupta said.
But the madrasa teachers disagreed with Gupta's claims and said that the officials at the district level minority welfare departments were not aware of the nuances of the madrasa education and how it has evolved in Uttar Pradesh.
Deewan Saheb Zama, the state secretary of the madrassa teachers’ association explained his point to NewsClick and said, “Some fifty ago when madrasas were established in UP there was not much documentation required. It was largely a very informal way in which madrasa institutions evolved without much government interference.”
“It was much much later that state government started providing aid to us. If the government wanted the hard copy of all kinds of documents it should have asked for them at the moment when it shortlisted us to provide us with the financial aid. Asking for the hard copy of all kinds of documents several decades later and holding back the salaries of hundreds of employees of madrasas, is extremely unfair to us," he added.
“The situation right now is extremely grim for thousands of families of those working in the government aided madrasas. Their salaries have been withheld by the government because a letter from director of minority welfare department in August said that the budget from November 2017 to February 2018 will be distributed only through the madrassa portal,” claimed Zama who has also written a letter to Yogi Adityanath over the issue.
According to officials of minority welfare department, the State government decided to withhold aid to 46 madrasas across the state after it was found that they did not have the requisite infrastructure mandated by the rule to get the government aid. Thousands of madrasas are expected to face government action if they do not register themselves on the government website, even if they do not intend to get the financial aid from the state.
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