Islamabad - A daily wage teacher suffered miscarriage because of prolonged protest movement she had been participating to get her four-month salary and regularised her services.

The teacher, who was four months pregnant with her first baby boy, had to go to the protest site at D-Chowk from the outskirts of the federal capital where she lives and teaches at a middle school. Due to daily commuting by public transport, whole day sitting on the roads, tension of non-payment for the last four months and other works, her four months pregnancy ended in miscarriage after 15 days of protest.

Over 2,000 teachers, including 80 percent females, hired on daily wage basis in various schools and colleges have been protesting since November 16 to get their stalled salaries and for job regularisation.

There are about 2200 teaching and non-teaching staffers from grade 1 to 17 who have been working for years on daily wage basis. The staffers were earlier staging a sit-in at D-Chowk which now has been shifted to National Press Club.

The ill-fated teacher requested anonymity due to backlash from her family and in-laws as she has been hiding the loss from them. “We were happy as it was our first baby,” said the teacher who got married eight month ago. “But I could not take care of my baby because I had to struggle for my career.”

“It is hard to make a decent living while depending on one breadwinner in the family when you are living in a rented house,” the teacher said whose husband is a lower-grade government employee. “It has become necessary for the couples to do jobs, especially when they want to raise their family,” she said.

Schools and colleges in Islamabad capital territory hire the services of hundreds of female teachers at the rate of Rs 400 per day that is the minimum wage and in case of availing any leave, one-day salary is deducted from the salary.

Most of the teachers are master degree holder and some even hold MPhil degrees. These teachers make up the 60 percent teaching strength in the model setup and they have been working for years without basic service facilities or leave of any kind.

The finance ministry allocated Rs 140 million last week for the payment of salaries to daily-wage staff after their 24 days protest and a committee was also formed by the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) for regularisation of services. But the protestors say they will not call off the protest until they get any written orders.

The CADD committee was formed on the instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who on Friday last while unveiling the up-gradation of Government Model School, Punjgran, had directed the CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to expedite the process of regularisation.

The Prime Minister was shocked to hear from a female teacher that she has been working at Rs 13,000 salary per month for years on daily wage basis.

The teachers say a committee chaired by Federal Public Service Commission Secretary Haseeb Athar was formed on the orders of Islamabad High Court eight months ago but it has done nothing for them. “We don’t trust such committees any longer,” said Rabia Waheed, spokesperson of daily-wage staffers. “Bureaucracy always misleads the higher authorities and they will misinform the PM, so we will not leave the protest site until we get our salaries and written orders of regularisation of services,” she added.

These teachers have been suffering because of the misdeeds of some principals and area education officers who got their dear ones regularised in place of the rightful candidates, commented former President of Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) Professor Sagheer Ahmed Mirani. Their protests go unnoticed because these teachers have no backing and lobbying in power corridors.

It is shocking and peak of insensitivity, remarked Marvi Sirmed, a columnist and human rights activist. “Who will compensate the loss of this mother who lost his baby?” she questioned.

A democratic government is supposed to fulfil the rights of its citizens, she said. She also censured the electronic media for not raising the genuine issues of the poor.

CADD’s spokesperson and minister did not respond to the repeated calls made to get their point of view.

Lady doctor gets clean chit

Staff Reporter from Rawalpindi adds: A lady doctor withdrew her pre-arrest bail from a local court yesterday after police told the court that her arrest was not needed. According to details, Dr Tallat, who is accused of conducting abortion of a minor rape victim after receiving bribe, appeared before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Ullah Khan for confirmation of her pre-arrest bail. Meanwhile, police submitted investigation report of the case mentioning that police did not require the arrest of the lady doctor as she had carried out the abortion of the minor rape victim to save her life.

The prosecutor opposed the police investigation report but to no avail. The parents of the victim girl alleged Taxila police for favouring the accused. They vowed to approach police high-ups for reinvestigation into the case.

Earlier on Saturday last, the defen ce lawyer cross-examined the rape victim during which the girl clearly told that she was raped by her uncle Muhammad Ashfaq at gunpoint in June 2015. Upon getting pregnant, she said, she was taken to the clinic of Dr Tallat by Ashfaq for abortion.

Mir Nasir Bilal Advocate, the lawyer for the victim, talking to The Nation confirmed the development saying police took side of the lady doctor by presenting a faulty investigation report.

“The lady doctor was given clean chit to ruin the whole case as this will be in favour of the three other accused.”