New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to treat teachers engaged in Covid-19 duties, as “frontline Corona Warriors” in every State and Union Territory.
NHRC has asked the health ministry to ensure that the teachers receive equal insurance and compensation at the earliest. The ministry has also been asked to release the amount of compensation and other service benefits of the deceased teachers without any delay.
NHRC passed the order acting on a petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer and
human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy.
Tripathy cited examples from across India where teachers died while being on covid duty. He gave the example of Simanchal Satpathy, a teacher from the Ganjam district of Odisha, who died in the line of duty on 3rd July 2020. His kin have not received any compensation amount even ten months after his death.
According to Tripathy’s petition, Simanchal Satpathy’s parents died by suicide after coming to know of their 27-year old son’s death. The petition claimed that the state government had announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for families of all frontline workers who die of the virus while being on COVID-19 duty.
The petition also cited the example of Uttar Pradesh, where hundreds of teachers are estimated to have lost their lives because of Covid-19 after panchayat elections duty.
For government school teachers, who have been deployed by states for non-academic work, the pandemic has been more challenging, the petition said
The NHRC order has stated that “this complaint be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within 8 weeks associating the complainant/victim and to inform him/her of the action taken in the matter.”
(With ANI Inputs)