Haryana: Teachers protest after being forced to distribute ‘prasad’, perform odd jobs at temple fair
Many have accused the district administration of taking disciplinary action against employees who refused to comply with its wishes.india Updated: Nov 01, 2017 17:25 IST
The BJP government in Haryana was left red-faced on Tuesday, when the Yamunanagar administration asked government employees – including teachers – to perform odd jobs such as distributing prasad (religious offerings) among devotees during a four-day annual fair at the Kapal Mochan temple.
Reports even emerged of teachers being forced to act as priests at the event. Many have accused the district administration of taking disciplinary action against employees who refused to comply with its wishes.
The district unit of the Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh has already lodged its protest in this regard. “It is sad how the state government makes teachers perform tasks other than teaching at the cost of educating poor students. Often, we spend half the year conducting surveys for the authorities,” said Sangh president CN Bharati.
However, deputy commissioner Rohtash Singh Kharb said the administration’s request was grossly misinterpreted.
“As four to five lakh devotees come to the fair every year, the administration deploys around 600 government employees – including teachers – to perform miscellaneous tasks such as managing the crowd and assisting priests. It is wrong to say that the teachers were asked to do the job of pujaris (priests),” he added.
This was the not the first time teachers were entrusted with such tasks, Kharb said. Teachers comprised around 100 of the 600 government employees asked to work at the fair.
The issue came in for widespread criticism from opposition parties, including Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala, who decried the deployment of teachers at the annual fair while the education of poor children suffered.