Bhubaneswar, Nov 12 (UNI) Thousands of college teachers and employees of unaided colleges in Orissa today began their three-day-long dharna before the State Assembly here, demanding grant-in-aid to the colleges, established since 1990 Shouting anti-government slogans, the college teachers and employees sat on the busy Mahatma Gandhi Marg and blocked the movement of traffic, expressing their displeasure to the ''apathetic'' attitude of the government in conceding to their demand.
The agitated teachers, who had in the past resorted to mass hunger strike, mass rally in all the 30 districts, road blockade, shoepolish and begging alms, decided to go for mass hunger strike from November 15 to press for grant-in-aid to 630 unaided colleges across the state.
The All Orissa Unaided Colleges and Employees Coordination Committee(AOUCECC), spearheading the agitation, today announced that it will intensify the agitation till their demands were fulfilled by the government.
AOUCECC Convener Golak Nayak said the teachers and employees had sacrificed their lives for the past 17 years, educating nearly one lakh students every year, yet the government had not heeded to their just demands, pushing nearly 7,500 employees to lead a deplorable and precarious life with a meagre salary provided by the Governing Body of the colleges.
He said all the 630 unaided colleges were now closed as the teachers had launched the mass dharna, to be followed by mass hunger strike indefinitely till the fulfillment of the demands.