Dheradun, in the foothills of the Himalayas, is the latest stage in the fight of Indian teachers to be treated properly. 10,000 teachers are wearing black ribbons to school, in protest at the government's failure to give them permanent contracts.

Temporary contracts are rife throughout South Asia and result in teachers being underpaid, having no employment rights and being forced to teach in areas far from their homes. Such a system is used both to save money and to discipline teachers by keeping them in a state of continual fear for their jobs. It is actively promoted by the proponents of education 'reform' like the World Bank.

The teachers are planning a series of actions, including a strike on Indian Teachers' Day - September 5th, a demonstration at the ministy of education and a hunger strike if their demands are not met.

Meanwhile in Meghalaya State, 14,000 teachers are on strike. They all work in schools which are government-aided but run by private institutions or churches and are demanding that the state take them over. Like their colleagues in Dheradun, teachers in these schools do not have the same rights or pay as those in government schools. Teachers' leaders say they will not end their strike until their demands are met.