The Bhind district administration has put spade and bucket in the hands of schoolchildren to change the face of this filthiest town of India.
Under a campaign launched by Bhind district collector Ilayaraja T, who recently held a meeting with management of schools in the city and allotted areas for cleaning, students were asked to clear drains and heaps of garbage with the help of brooms and spades.
Not only this, they were asked to enter the drains to clear them while in school dresses.
This has not gone down well with many parents and they have taken up the issue with school administrations.
Anil Jain, father of a school student, said, “The district administration is forcing schoolchildren to hold brooms and spade in their hands. Cleaning dirty places and entering drains to clear it might result in the children contracting diseases, as drains and the dirty places were highly unhygienic.”
Requesting anonymity, a school principal, said, “Several parents lodged complaint with the school management after the campaign was launched. Parents don’t want their children to do labour on the roads and in the drains to clean the city.”
“Some representatives of the schools had requested the collector that parents were not willing to allow their children to take part in such a cleanliness campaign, but the collector asked them to comply with the instructions,” he added.
“Not only this, collector had also appointed nodal officers to monitor the cleanliness work done by schools, so that latter don’t defy the instructions. The campaign will continue in coming months,” said a school teacher, seeking anonymity.
However, the district collector denied the charges.
“I haven’t forced anybody. It was totally a voluntary programme. The intention of involving school and college students in the campaign is just to create awareness among them on cleanliness.
“Not only students, we have involved government employees too in the campaign. In foreign countries too, students clean their schools and toilets. I don’t feel anything wrong in it.
“If anybody doesn’t want to get involved in the process they will not be forced by anyone.”