The workers are now protesting the sudden decision to close the mission, which has rendered them jobless.
The Central Government has closed the Sakshar Bharat Mission (SBM) scheme in four of the BJP-ruled states, including Madhya Pradesh. This scheme was sponsored by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and launched in 2009. The mission was to provide functional literacy to adults, especially women, who dropped out midway.
The scheme, which employed 24000 workers across the state, has now rendered these workers jobless, due to the decision of the Centre.
The scheme was launched in the state in 2012, with a mission to attain 100 per cent literacy within five years in the state. The state school education department has claimed that it has achieved 100 per cent literacy under the mission. The state was given the national literacy award recently for having the highest number of literate women in 2017!
These workers were recruited in 2012, when the mission was launched in the state and were not informed of the time line of the work. But suddenly, they were told that the mission is over and they need not report to duty from October 1.
These workers were not only involved in the literacy mission, but were also asked to take on other responsibilities, such as election duty.
Earlier, the duration of the scheme was extended till September 30, 2017, but officials didn’t receive any instructions for further extension, and hence, it was closed.
In states, such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the scheme has been shut.
These workers are now protesting against this sudden decision that has left them jobless. They are demanding the state for another source of livelihood or for extension of the mission. Some of these workers have still not received their salaries.
They have approached the Government and the officials of the School Education Department, but have not received any reply.