All sections of the people of Orissa paid glowing tributes to the architect of teachers’ class consciousness in the State, Prof. Abani Baral, on the 12th day of his sad demise, on November 18 at the State Information Centre (Jaya Dev Bhawan), Bhubaneswar. Shiksak Mahasangha, the federation of private College and School teachers he had established and led till the end of his life, had called the meeting.
Dibakar Nayak, Secretary of the State Council of the Communists Party of India recalled his predecessor as a man who linked education to emancipation of the masses. He was convinced that the State’s apathy to private college and school teachers was the worst obstacle to spread of education and therefore he dedicated himself to creation of service conditions of teachers, which not only made the government agree to ensure removal of salary uncertainty but also to make direct payment to teachers, he said, while also recalling another former Secretary of CPI, Lokanath Chowdhury’s contributions to teachers’ movement.
A votary of class action, he linked the common people with the class struggle of the low and irregularly paid private teachers against the exploitative system, said higher education minister Badri Narayan Patra, who himself was a teacher and a follower of Prof. Baral in the Mahasangha movement.
A souvenir brought out by the Mahasangha was released on the dais by the President of Orissa Sahitya Academy Satakadi Hota. All Orissa Lower and Secondary Teachers Association has also published another souvenir, which was distributed amongst the audience in the hall.
Leaders of various political parties, educationists, and journalists, trade unionists, and teachers’ bodies recalled Prof. Baral’s contributions to awakening of the State to the role and the needs of the teachers.