This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sanjana Ahuja. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Teachers Turn Activists To Expose Rampant Corruption In Private Schools

More from Sanjana Ahuja

By Sanjana Ahuja:

“…They bribed people into harassing me, denied me a leave for medical treatment and pressured me till I tried to kill myself.”

No, I’m not quoting a bonded labourer from an archaic period of history. A teacher from a private school in our very own capital city of New Delhi said these words about her employers. As I learnt more about the inhumane treatment meted out by these renowned schools to their own faculty members, I was horrified to know how frequently such events take place.

Picture Credit: Teachers Rights
Picture Credit: Teachers Rights

However, there’s hope even in the darkest of places. Meet the All India Private School Staff Teachers Association (AIPSSTA), an organization that has sprung out of the struggles of teachers and staff working in different private schools of Delhi. Starting from a modest beginning consisting of teachers from Rohini, the movement has expanded to create a network of teachers who are fighting against corrupt practices in private schools of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Haryana. They aim to further extend their reach and make it an umbrella organization for struggling teachers and staff in all parts of India.

“There are about 2,500 private and unaided schools in Delhi and a majority (80 per cent) of them are violating the DoE [Directorate of Education] Act. Most of the schools are located in North-East and East Delhi. When the issue of irregularities in payment and service conditions with increased teaching hours was taken up with the DoE officials, the teachers were ridiculed in front of their colleagues. The DoE is working like an agent of private schools,” said Mahesh Rathi, a member of the convening committee of the AIPSSTA.

Speaking to the teachers involved in this movement aimed at reducing corruption in educational institutions, I came to know of many cruel practices taking place. Teachers are forced into signing blank cheques by the management and are then made to return part of the salary paid to them every month. “They would pay me 28,500 Rupees on record but in reality I only got to keep 22,500 Rupees. Moreover, when teachers used to invigilate university exams, the extra money to be paid to them was held on to by the school authorities,” said Ms. Sunita Sharma. By doing this, the schools are blatantly disobeying the guidelines laid out by the Sixth Pay Commission and the service conditions laid down under the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 (DSE).

Another major concern of the movement is to draw attention to the prevalent nepotism in the School Management Committees (SMCs) and how they are turning institution of learning into family-run business ventures. According to Rule 25 of the Central Board of Secondary Education, SMCs may only have one family member on board, a norm that the protesting teachers say is being shamelessly violated. Moreover, family members are allegedly being handed positions that they are most certainly unqualified for. A teacher involved with the movement informed that in a school in Rohini, the Principal’s husband was arbitrarily made the manager of the school and the brother, who lacked any expertise in the field, was hired as the lab assistant.

Under the leadership of Asha Rani, a forerunner of the movement, the body has submitted a memorandum to Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung to prevent further exploitation of teachers and implement proper practices in schools. However, the body is not sitting idle waiting for things to change. They have taken to the streets, protesting and urging political parties to include a corruption free administration and free private schools into their manifestos. Their list of goals includes, among other things,

1) To create democratic space within private institutions & ensure the participation of teachers, staff and parents in decision making body i.e. School Managing Committee of all private schools.

2) To abolish the system of family run School Managing Committee of private schools.

3) To have in place a system of appointing teachers on contract basis should be discouraged, since it is against the provisions of Delhi School Education Rules 1973.

Much can be said about the resilience of these teachers to get back up and fight against the system, no matter how many times they’ve been knocked down. Their struggle represents the urgent need to reform the backward and crumbling education system in India, something the government needs to address as one of its top priorities. The AIPSSTA stands for a better future for India and we must support its efforts in every way possible.

You must be to comment.
  1. Rakhi

    Couldn’t agree more! My mom worked as an assistant teacher in one of the private schools in East Delhi. She served there for more than 22 years. Due to her falling health, she had to resign this year. It came as a shock to her when the school management denied paying her gratuity. She even sent formal letters to the school management but so far she has not heard anything from them.

  2. Atul Sharma

    Private school teachers also face huge exploitation by unreasonable expulsions, human rights violations, fundamental rights violations and deprivation due to delays in salaries, management dictatorship, absense of labor rights, etc. This must go away. Especially rampant in Haryana. I have seen two private schools with my own eyes exploiting teachers in a gruesome manner. Despite complaints at CM Window and PM Window and running case in High Court, nothing happened on payment of salaries and gratuity in case of Baptist Sr. sec. School Bhiwani in last 5 years. Now another school named Baba Mungipa Sr Sec School Bushan in Tosham in Bhiwani also expelled 11 teachers for no reason at all jeopardizing their livelihood and human rights. This is gross injustice. This must stop. Please all teachers unite and launch court cases and RTI and petitions to PMO, CMO, MPs, MLAs, etc to stop this maladministration and exploitation.

  3. Atul Sharma

    Private school teachers also face huge exploitation by unreasonable expulsions, human rights violations, fundamental rights violations and deprivation due to delays in salaries, management dictatorship, absense of labor rights, etc. This must go away. Especially rampant in Haryana. I have seen two private schools with my own eyes exploiting teachers in a gruesome manner. Despite complaints at CM Window and PM Window and running case in High Court, nothing happened on payment of salaries and gratuity in case of Baptist Sr. sec. School Bhiwani in last 5 years. Now another school named Baba Mungipa Sr Sec School Bushan in Tosham in Bhiwani also expelled 11 teachers for no reason at all jeopardizing their livelihood and human rights. This is gross injustice. This must stop. Please all teachers unite and launch court cases and RTI and petitions to PMO, CMO, MPs, MLAs, etc to stop this maladministration and exploitation

  4. Surinder Mahindra

    Is this organisation still alive. pl share the contact details

More from Sanjana Ahuja

Similar Posts

By Silca

By Ankita Marwaha

By Ananya Tiwari

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below