Odisha Association claims Government Ex-gratia excludes Teachers

The Odisha Secondary School Teacher Association (OSSTA), a guild of teachers, has complained that the state government is yet to announce a compensation package for teachers who have died of the coronavirus. The Odisha government had earlier announced a compensation package, which includes an ex-gratia package for COVID warriors who face their demise in the line of duty.

Prakash Mohanty, who heads the OSSTA, said that nearly forty percent of COVID warriors were school teachers, who died due to contracting the novel coronavirus, while on duty in COVID care centres, COVID care homes, and temporary medical camps (TMCs) in local schools.

“We have met senior government officers several times and demanded adequate compensation for the families of the teachers as given to health workers and others. But the government is yet to announce anything in this regard. Even now many teachers are engaged in COVID-19 management. They were not trained before deployment in COVID care facilities,” said Mohanty.

Earlier, financial assistance of ₹50 lakh was announced on part of the government for families of all frontline workers. This includes doctors and other healthcare professionals who succumb to complicities created by their virus. It was noted later that out of twenty-seven COVID warrior deaths in Ganjam, the state’s coronavirus hotspot, eleven were actively engaged as teachers.