Teachers' padayatra to begin today

Teachers of unaided schools will begin ‘padayatra’ from Dharwad to Bangalore on February 22, demanding grant-in-aid for the schools set up between 1991 and 1994-95.

MLC Basavaraj Horatti, who will lead the protesting teachers, told the reporters here on Tuesday that the padayatra would begin from the site of the ongoing hunger strike at Dharawad and proceed via Hubli, Tadasa, Shiggaon, Haveri, Ranebennur, Harihara, Davangere, Bharamasagara, Chitradurga, Guyilalu, Adivala, Sira, Seebi, Tumkur, Dobbspet, Nelamangala and Dasanakunte, to reach Bangalore on March 11.

He said the padayatra was not politically motivated, but it aimed at pressuring the government to release the grants for the schools.

He pointed to differences in the statements made by Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda and High School Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on the grant-in-aid. Gowda had said Rs 65 crore was released for the unaided schools while Kageri claimed that Rs 200 crore was released. However,the Government Order (GO) pertaining to the Cabinet approval for the grants allocated in the budget has not yet reached the department, Horatti said.

As many as 50 teachers will participate in the padayatra and they will be joined by other teachers en route.

Public meeting in B’lore

A public meeting will be held at the Freedom Park in Bangalore on March 11 and a memorandum will be submitted to the chief minister, he said. However, the hunger strike by teachers, which began 70 days ago, will continue till they get a copy of the GO on release of the grant-in-aid, he said.

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