At least 87 non-government teachers fell sick until Wednesday, the fourth day of their hunger strike they undertook to press the demand of payment of salaries and benefits by the government under its Monthly Pay Order, commonly called MPO.
The indefinite hunger strike by teachers and employees of non-government schools, colleges and technical institutions began on the Topkhana Road, in front of the National Press Club on Sunday.
At least 80,000 teachers and employees of 5,000 non-government educational institutions have been demanding the MPO benefits for long.
On Monday, teachers of registered primary madrassahs, officially ebtedayee madrasahs began their indefinite sit-in a little away on the same venue to press the demand for the nationalization of their institutions.
The non-government teachers began the hunger strike after their non-stop sit-in for five days on the same venue failed to melt the government’s icy response.
The teachers and employees are continuing their hunger strike under open sky amid shivering cold.
The protesters took their action programmes under the banner of the federation of teachers and employees.
After falling sick on Wednesday, the 4th day of their hunger strike, 24 teachers including federation president Golam Mahmudunnabi and secretary Binoy Bhushan Roy were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Before being shifted to the hospital all of them were administered intravenous saline on the venue of their fast unto death.
As their condition deteriorated ambulances were called to ferry them to the DMCH, barely half a kilometer away.
Many young doctors, once students of agitating teachers, were seen providing voluntary service to their former gurus.
Hunger strike coordinator Shafiqul Islam told New Age, that no teacher and employee would go home until ‘our demand was met by the government.
He said, ‘We would expect prime minister Sheikh Hasina to make a positive announcement.’
Columnist Syed Abul Maksud spent half an hour with the teachers to express his solidarity.
He appealed to the prime minister to meet the demand so that the teachers could return to their families.
Krishak Sramik Janata League president Bangabir Kader Siddiqui and Nagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna also spent some time with the teachers to express their solidarity.
New Age correspondent in Jessore reported that the Jessore district chapter of Workers Party formed a human chain in front of Jessore Press Club Wednesday in support of the hunger striking teachers.
In 1984, approximately 18,000 primary madrassahs got themselves registered with the Madrassah Education Board.
Ebtedayee Madrasah Teachers Association president Ruhul Amin Chowdhury said they would not leave the street until their madrssahs were nationalized.