Prayagraj, Nov 30 (IANS): The Teachers’ Self Care Team (TSCT), a unique initiative launched in 2020 by a group of basic education department teachers during the pandemic to help families of colleagues who died, has so far extended financial support of Rs 35.5 crore to kin of 137 teachers by contributing Rs 35 per person.
"Due to the absence of pension benefits for teachers entering service after 2005 under the new scheme, families of those who pass away face financial challenges. This also affects their children's studies. We initiated this selfcare scheme to safeguard the future of these families. Whenever a teacher dies, group members, who wish to donate, directly transfer Rs 35 each to the bank account of the family. They upload the receipt of their contribution to TSCT's website as proof of their support. TSCT has over 2 lakh members in UP,” said Vivekanand Arya, a teacher of government primary school and TSCT president who started the campaign.
He added that as unlock phase began in 2020, he became aware of numerous colleagues who either passed away or fell ill due to the Covid-19 virus during the lockdown, which inspired him to start the 'selfcare team' on Telegram app.
Gyan Devi, a beneficiary from Pilibhit, echoed the sentiment of many recipients, expressing gratitude for the Rs 52 lakh assistance she received between November 16 and November 26 after her husband died on July 1 this year.
“While it can't bring back my husband, but it will secure the future of my children," she said.
Arya said TSCT aims to launch another welfare scheme called Kanya Dhan Yojana in which all 2 lakh members would contribute Rs 10 each towards the marriage of teachers’ daughters, aiming to generate a significant fund of Rs 20 lakh.
Furqan Hashmi, TSCT state coordinator, said, “The membership is free and the group offers an option for an annual contribution of Rs 50 from each member. These contributions will not only sustain the group's operational expenses but also facilitate crucial aid, such as financial assistance of up to Rs 50,000 for medical treatment in case of accidents.