The editor, Mr. Swaminathan Iyer, pondered over her query on how to expose the scam. He finally said, “Radha, you go try the English teacher’s job. But I don’t want you to go alone. Take Asha along. She can try the Physical Education teacher’s job. Try not to get caught.”
Asha Bhat was Radha’s best friend and colleague. They had been together since their junior college.
During the interview, inside a small cabin within the staff room, which she later learned was the principal’s cabin, the Principal Mr. Bhattacharya clarified, in the beginning, itself to Radha, “The owners of junior colleges deposit their black money in the teachers’ accounts, to make them white. Since you have not done B.Ed. you will get only Rs. 4000 from the deposited amount. You will not get the Christmas vacation payment. Even if we decide to continue you for the next year, you will not get paid for May vacations.”
Luckily, she and Asha were immediately given the jobs. Given the sheer number of students, a female sports teacher was also required. The junior college timings were noon to 6 in the evening. A Gujarati medium school functioned in the morning.
The next day the two newbies were taken to a nearby bank and savings accounts were opened in their names. Radha asked the coordinator from the college if the pass book and cheque book would be given to her. He replied in the positive uneasily, looking at the bank officer.
When the cheque book came, Radha and Asha were made to sign on all the leaves of their respective cheque books. The principal explained, “If you are dumped, the other person, who comes in your place would still be paid from this account!”
To be continued…