Shirin Agha Lives a Hard Life After Losing His Job
Shirin Agha, 35, sells “milk, cream, and jam” on one of Taloqan roads in wheelbarrow. Shirin Agha, a former member of the Education Department in the Chal district of Takhar province, has been forced to turn to a salesman after being fired. He was a member of the Supervision Department of Education in Takhar Province for about 11 years and has taught for several years as a teacher in a school in Takhar. He sits on a half-crippled wooden chair and thinks of the days when he evaluated the education department of Takhar. But today he is sitting on the public road, watching people pass by.
Local officials in Takhar have newly fired dozens of professional staff, replacing them with recent ones. Shirin Agha is one of those employees. He illustrates the story of his dismissal as observes: “One day I accidentally signed an entire list of the attendance,” he said. “The director of education fired me because he did not have sufficient information about management and clerical work, without my knowledge. As I was not informed and was on duty in my office as usual, they had fired me.”
According to Shirin Agha, after he hears the news of his dismissal, he is shocked and discusses the matter with the director of education. He stated that, arguing with the director of education did not work. The former member of the Chal district’s education supervision board says that the issue of dismissals has also reached the director of education of the province. But a conversation with the director of education in Chal district, which took place through WhatsApp, did not work either. According to Shirin Agha, the director of education in Chal district, suspended him for four days, but on the fourth day he said, “You are no longer our employee.” Shirin Agha says he met the provincial director of education later again, but he referred the matter to the inspectorate. “I sought for cooperation here and there, but nobody helped.” said Shirin Agha heart-brokenly. “I approached the governor and complained. He promised to take me back to job, but to no avail,” he stated.
Recently, a number of government employees in different departments have been laid off collectively and replaced by new staff. These former employees say that they are in complete confusion and no one hears them.
According to Shirin Agha, he traveled from district to center and from center to district for about 25 days, during which time he borrowed money for car fares, but did not receive a reasonable result. “I was a teacher for two years at Mullah Shams-ul-Haq High School in Chal district,” he said. “I have been working for 11 years as a regulatory member in the field of social sciences in the education department of Chal district. But today, for no apparent reason, I have been unfairly fired.” According to Shirin Agha, he was also a member of supervisory board during the previous Taliban-held government in Chal district, returning to office 15 days after the fall of the republic.
The only source of income for most government employees is their salaries, which they use to meet their basic needs, but it has been several months since most of them have not received their salaries. Because of this, they are financially miserable and most of them even claim that they cannot afford to pay their rent. “I was on duty for three months without delay, with no description,” said Shirin Agha. “They did not pay my salary for three months. I screamed everywhere, but no one came to my help. They accused me of being close to the National Resistance Front.”
Shirin Agha, who now has no income to make a living, has been forced to borrow two to three thousand afghanis to run a shop in a wheelbarrow. He says he now sells some milk and buttermilk. “I have six children, three daughters and three sons,” he said. “My elderly parents live with me. A sister of mine, whose husband has died, is with me along with her five children. We have a family consistent of a total of 15 members, including myself.”
Shirin Agha lives in a rented house with her family members and pays about 4,000 afghanis a month; But now, according to him, he has not paid the rent for six months. “I have not paid my rent for six months,” he said. “I borrowed 80,000 afghanis and after that not even a shopkeeper will lend it to me. I depend on the shopkeeper. I feel very oppressed.”
Although Shirin Agha says that he is in a circle of problems, he still hopes for life. He says he continues his new job, even though he has no income to turn the wheel of life.
Shirin Agha’s story is the story of thousands of citizens whose life changed dramatically after the new developments took place in the country. In addition to layoffs and cuts in the source of livelihoods, mass poverty is also gripping the people. In the northeastern province of Takhar, large numbers of families suffer from unemployment and poverty.
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Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily