Port of Spain : Hindi teachers are paid poorly in Trinidad and Tobago and are allegedly paid less than the minimum wage of workers, a prominent foundation for Indian-origin people here has complained to the government.
Chanka Seeteeram, president of the Hindi Nidhi Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago, said that over the last two years the education ministry has failed to increase the stipend paid to Hindi teachers.
"The stipend of $1,000 per month is grossly inadequate. It equates to less than the minimum wage," Seeteeram said Saturday.
Seeteeram said the education ministry had told his organisation that they have no funds to increase the stipend, the Trinidad Express reported.
"This sounds ludicrous when we look at the strength of the economy and the obscene manner in which the national patrimony is frittered away on projects of questionable economic and social value," said Seeteeram.
The Hindi Nidhi Foundation promotes the Hindi language and helps preserve Indian culture and tradition among the Indian population in Trinidad and Tobago.
"The Ministry of Education receives an annual revenue of $3 billion and is poised to get more from the supplemental budget. It becomes patently indefensible to claim that you can't afford any increase in the stipend which has remained unchanged for the last ten years," added Seeteeram.
Of the country's 1.3 million inhabitants, Indian origin people make up 40.3 percent of the population, though all Indians don't speak Hindi.