MP teachers made to serve food at mass wedding, endure ‘poori-sabzi wala’ calls
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan attended event. Watching over shoes at a religious event and distributing liquor from shops are among tasks MP’s teachers have performed.india Updated: May 24, 2017 20:37 IST
A bunch of Madhya Pradesh school teachers were hard at work on Monday, serving food at a mass wedding. The teachers had orders, not options.
Ignoring ‘poori wala’ and ‘sabzi wala’ remarks from thousands attending 2,400 weddings being solemnised under the Mukhya Mantri Kanyadaan Yojna in Singrauli district, the teachers soldiered on.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was at the event, which bears his stamp.
More than 400 teachers of Singrauli, about 600 km east of state capital Bhopal, were mobilised for event. Among them, nearly 40 were on food serving duty.
“We got our orders from the district education officer, who apparently had his orders from the district collector,” a teacher who served food at the wedding told HT on Tuesday.
Another teacher who served pooris said, “It was humiliating to hear people calling us ‘poori wala’ or ‘sabji wala’. The government is insulting us by giving such work.”
The teachers declined to be named, fearing punishment for speaking out.
Their colleagues across the state share the disappointment and fear because this isn’t the first time that the government machinery has used teachers for such random work loosely referred to as special duties.
Recently, Morena district collector issued an order that asks teachers to collect metal in a door-to-door campaign for a statue of Shankaracharya that is to come up in Omkareshwar. The CM announced the statue plan during the Narmada Seva Yatra, which ended recently.
A teacher said he and his colleagues were deputed for safekeeping of shoes of visitors at the Simhastha Ujjain religious event last year.
“The government even engaged us in distribution of liquor from shops a few years ago,” said MP Teachers’ Association general secretary Ashutosh Pandey. “Bureaucrats feel we do not have enough work and involve us in random tasks. Their orders are humiliating.”
Pandey said the condition of government schools teachers was worsening by the day. Incidentally, MP’s literacy rate of 70.6% — according to the 2011 census — is about 4% lower than the national average.
On teachers being annoyed following the mass wedding duty in Singrauli, MP school education minister Deepak Joshi said, “I don’t know why the DEO (district education officer) engaged teachers in such work. I asked the DEO why such an order was released. I am also going to write to all the district collectors not to involve teachers in other work.”