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14 Dec 2016

Teachers loan cash for district sports meet

Children take part in a relay at the South Dinajpur district sports meet in Balurghat. Picture by Mithun Roy
TT, Balurghat, Dec. 13: Various primary school teachers' associations in South Dinajpur have raised around Rs 5 lakh cutting across political lines to conduct the district sports meet for students.
The district-level sports meet was held yesterday and today. The teachers needed to pay subscriptions as the post of the chairman of the District Primary School Council has been vacant since May.
The funds were collected by primary school teachers' bodies of Trinamul, CPM, RSP and the Congress.
Dibyendu Samajdar, the district president of the West Bengal Trinamul Primary Teachers' Association, said: "We had collected around Rs 5.5 lakh on credit from about 55 teachers who belong to different associations and given the money to the District Primary School Council on the condition that it should be returned to them when the new chairman took charge. Politics didn't come in the way of collection of money as the teachers wanted the sports meet to be held at any cost."
He added that district Trinamul president Shankar Chakraborty had donated Rs 2 lakh to the sports meet.
On May 31, then chairman of the council Kalyan Kundu had resigned and the post has been vacant ever since. Sources said the funds for the sports meet had to be sanctioned by the chairman.
The district secretary of the CPM-backed All Bengal Primary Teachers' Association, Shankar Ghosh, said: "It is true that we have different political stands but at the same time, we were adamant on conducting the sports meet in the absence of the council chairman. It was a matter of prestige for us as other districts were holding the meets."
He, however, said Trinamul should have taken the initiative to select the new chairman of the council as the post had been vacant since May.
Asked about the contribution by the teachers, district inspector of schools (primary) Suniti Shanpui said: "Different teacher associations have arranged funds for the district sports meet this year."
An official of the council said a total of 662 children had taken part in the circle-level sports meets that had begun on December 3. The winners of those meets took part in the two-day district sports event here. There are 17 primary school circles in South Dinajpur.
The state-level school sports will be held in Calcutta on December 19.

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