Toorpupalem Cross, Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore District: This morning after I crossed Adimoortipuram, a group of women labourers came and met me. They were all daily wage labourers and among them was Mastan Bi who narrated her tale of suffering to me. She lost her husband three years ago and was forced to support her family which comprised three children. As a daily wage labourer, she worked very hard right through the year and was paid Rs. 150 a day. How does one survive on this meagre amount? This was her question.
Mastan Bi was hoping to get a pension and she pursued the matter with officials and Janmabhoomi committee members, running from pillar to post, to no avail. Another woman labourer, Bibi Jan, had a similar tale to narrate. Her husband was no more and to make matters worse, her two sons had turned into alcoholics. Both of them harassed their wives—they not only did not give them a rupee, but also beat them up under the influence of alcohol, on a regular basis.
All of them complained that liquor had wrought havoc in their lives and had turned day-to-day living into an ordeal. The apathy of the Telugu Desam government on this issue, is shocking to say the least. I reassured all of them that when YSRCP comes to power, in Rajanna Rajyam, they will not be tormented by these problems. All of them were waiting for that promised dawn to break, they told me and hoped to see YSRCP come to power.
Near the village Kondapuram, Padmaja met me and told me that she was preparing for the TET exam. “Sir, this exam has been structured very badly. They say it is an online exam. We are villagers and have no idea of how to go about preparing for this exam. We came to know that a private firm is going to conduct this online exam. My examination centre is not in our district, but in some distant place called Tiruvur. I do not even know where it is located. From the time that the announcement for this exam has been made, all of us have been deeply disturbed. Many of us are not used to the system of online testing. We came to know that the question paper is not of a uniform pattern. It is a graded one, simpler for some and more advanced for others.” In this manner, she explained her concerns to me at some length, adding that 20% of the marks of this test would be added to DSE. She said that all of them had great apprehensions of the kind that she did.
Complaints with respect to the eligibility test of teachers have been pouring in from all districts. On the one hand, for several years now, TET exam has not been held at all. Finally, when it is being held it has thrown aspirants and candidates into a state of utter confusion. Such ill-planned decisions have only created confusion among the candidates. Does the private firm which has been assigned the task of conducting this test, have the requisite competence? Does it have the required experience? Is it not necessary to take all these factors into account? How can the government explain its position to the students, when it has indulged in rank nepotism in giving this contract to a private vendor, putting the lives of lakhs of aspirants at stake? Shouldn’t such a big exercise be undertaken with necessary preparation and conducted in a smooth fashion, making it comprehensible to all candidates? Is it not important to dispel the fears and aspirations of those who hope to clear this exam? If the pattern of question papers is changed and there is no uniformity, can candidates appearing for the exam, expect just evaluation and are they being subjected to a fair process of testing? Why can’t the government conduct the TET test in a methodical fashion, especially when it involves 4 1/2 lakh candidates? Why have candidates been assigned examination centres in remote locations other than their districts? Travelling to far-off places makes it even more difficult for women and disabled. Did the government take this into account? Crores of rupees have been collected by way of fees in order to conduct the exam while the net result is complete confusion on the ground when it comes to actually executing it. Isn’t this shameful? The careless, flawed approach to an exam which involves the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, mirrors the government’s attitude towards the unemployed.