Nasrin Begum is lying on the street in front of the National Press Club. The headmaster of an Ebtedayee madrasa in Jhenidah, she has not eaten for a few days. She was administered saline when she fell sick on Friday morning. "I won't eat till our jobs are nationalised. Or else I will die on the streets," she said.
Today is the fourth day teachers of Ebtedayee madrasas from across the country, under the banner of Bangladesh Satantra Ebtedayee Madrasa Shikkhak Samity, have been observing a fast unto death demanding nationalisation of their jobs.
The platform claimed as many as 106 teachers had already fallen sick while seven of them had to be taken to the hospital.
They perform the same duties like their primary school colleagues, yet they have been deprived of a decent salary and other benefits for 34 years, the madrasa teachers alleged.
Md Ariful Islam, a teacher from a Bagerhat madrasa, lamented, "Everyone but us gets a salary increase. We do not even get a pension. The house rent is only Tk 1000. And there is no scope to get a promotion."
Society's secretary general Quazi Mokhlesur Rahman said they had not got any assurance from the government. "So we will continue this fast unto death."