Tribunal stays dismissal of Odisha teacher for childbirth in hostel

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 1:

The Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT) has granted an interim stay on the dismissal of a contractual lady teacher of Lingagada Girls High School in Kandhamal district on the issue of a class X student delivering a baby in the hostel.

(file pic)
(file pic)

Administrative member of the OAT SK Dash ordered an interim stay on the dismissal of contractual lady teacher Sasmita  Parida while adjudicating on a petition filed by her challenging the district collector’s order dismising her from service.

According to available case records, a class X student of Lingagada Girls High School in Kandhamal district delivered a baby in the school’s hostel on January 23.  Sasmita Parida, who had been working as a contractual teacher since 2008, was in-charge of the school hostel’s mess. The Kandhamal district collector dismissed Parida from her services on January 25 on charges of failure to inform departmental authorities about the student’s pregnancy beforehand.

Petitioner Parida, in her petition, has cited that the headmaster of the school is the superintendent of the hostel while she was only entrusted with the management of the hostel’s mess. She has further stated that despite regular health check-up of students by doctors, no doctor had ever given any report on the pregnancy of the student. Moreover, departmental authorities had also failed to notice any such development during their inspection of the hostel in the month of January, Parida stated in her petition adding that her dismissal over the incident was without reason.

OAT has sought a reply from the opposite parties in this regard.

After the visit by a three member team of the Odisha State Commission for Women (OSCW) to inquire into the incident, member of the Odisha State Child Protection and Child Rights (OSCPCR) visited the school to conduct an inquiry. The district child welfare committee and the local MLA have also conducted inquiries into the incident.

The Kandhamal district administration had suspended headmistress Ashalata Pati , dismissed two assistant teachers in-charge of the  hostel and an auxiliary nurse mid-wife (ANM) of Lingagad Girls High School after the girl gave birth to a baby boy in the school on December 23.

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