Mohammad Faizi has not received his salary since March and is unable to pay school fee of his two daughters. The mathematics teacher has now taken to selling cloth bags at a weekly market in Delhi’s Dilshad Garden.
Weekly markets in the national capital, which remained shut since March-end due to the coronavirus lockdown, reopened on Monday after the Delhi government allowed it till August 30 on a trial basis.
A resident of Shahdara, Faizi lives in a two-room house with his elderly parents, wife and two daughters, aged five and 10.
The 30-year-old teaches mathematics to students of classes 6-8 at a private school and has been taking online classes but without any salary since the lockdown started.
“My friends have helped me financially, but I cannot ask them for more,” Faizi said. “We have been managing somehow. I could not pay the school fee of my daughters, so I am teaching them myself now.”
Faizi, who took online classes during the day, reached a weekly market in Dilshad Garden on Tuesday evening to sell cloth bags made by one of his friends.
“My friends manufactures these bags. He suggested I could sell them in the market and keep the profits,” he says, as he waits for customers.
Faizi says he can understand the fact that the school would not be able to pay his salary for sometime.
“Many families have been rendered jobless due to COVID. Many people like me are unable to pay their children’s school fee. So the schools, too, are finding it difficult to pay their teachers,” he says.
Faizi underscores that he wants to keep teaching his students.
“I want to teach during the day and do something else in the evening to make ends meet. That’s why the weekly market seemed a better idea,” he says.
On his first day, Faizi could not sell anything as police asked the vendors to vacate the space after it became overcrowded.
“The coronavirus pandemic has affected millions of lives, I’m one among them,” Faizi, the only child to his parents, says. “I just hope that my family remains safe. I cannot afford medical expenses.”