Teachers in Paducherry, a state territory in the South of India are on hunger strike in pursuit of their demands. The teachers, who work in government aided private schools, are demanding that their contracts be regularised and that hundreds of vacancies at schools in the town be filled.
The Puducherry Government Employees Union are supporting the fourteen fasting teachers, who have eaten nothing for a week. Leaders of the union joined the teachers in their fast on Saturday. Despite the fact that eight of the teachers have had to be hospitalised there has been no response from the government.
This inhuman treatment is typical in the global South, where teaachers are often expected to work on temporary contracts for starvation pay. Indeed the promotion of so-called 'low-cost private schools' is central to the World Bank project for education, as well as the deliberate oppression of teachers, with temporary contracts one of their central strategies.
These events in Puducherry are only the latest in a long series of battles by teachers all over the global South, and particularly in India, to be granted their professional dignity, security and a living wage.