As the country slowly tries to get back to normal amid social distancing norms to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, it is the corona warriors of the national capital's North MCD who are yet to return back to normal life.
The teachers and nurses employed with the civic body are yet to get their salaries for multiple months. The teachers of North MCD's schools and nurses of various hospitals in North MCD have accused the civic body of not paying their salaries for over two months now.
Over 8,000 teachers of 714 schools run by North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD), who have been working day and night in food distribution and door-to-door awareness campaign against COVID-19, have found themselves entangled in a political tussle between the BJP-led North MCD and the AAP state government.
Teachers not paid of their salaries
These teachers claim that they have not received salaries since February leaving them out of cash and the lockdown period has only worsened the effects with shopkeepers denying them credit facilities.
"They have deployed us on food distribution duties and told us to visit every door to screen people for Covid-19, but what about the salary? Last salary that we received was for January, since then not a single penny has been credited to our accounts," Ramnivas Solanki, President of MCD Teachers' association said.
Ramnivas claims that the association has written to the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and the Mayor for the same but all efforts have gone in vain. "Chief Minister's office said that our plea was forwarded to the concerned office for appropriate action. But we are yet to get fruits for our efforts," he added.
Plight of the nurses amid the pandemic
The situation was similar for nurses deployed in the North MCD hospitals where they are yet to receive salary for two months, while they report to duty everyday.
"Although we got a month's salary this May, but still two months of our salary is due with the MCD," Indu Jamwal, President Nurses Welfare Association, Hindu Rao Hospital said. Jamwal added that apart from Hindu Rao hospital, nurses in all hospitals and dispensaries in North MCD's jurisdiction are yet to receive their salaries.
She added that it is now everyday that nurses contact her regarding the financial issues that they have been facing due to the ongoing salary issues.
Meanwhile the Mayor of the North MCD has blamed the financial condition of the civic body for the debacle as he promised to pay all salaries when the civic body gets funds.
"I respect our Covid-19 warriors. They are working very hard on the job and it is due to the lack of finances with North MCD that we were not able to pay them on time. However the 'warriors' should be assured that as soon as we get funds we will pay everyone," North MCD Mayor Avatar Singh said.