School teachers along with others in chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s constituency Jhalawar have been tasked with a new kind of work – go out at dawn, click pictures of those found defecating in the open and share the pictures on WhatsApp.
Along the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet programme Swachh Bharat Mission, district education officer Surender Singh Gaur issued a directive to 24 gram panchayats (village councils) to take steps to make their areas open defecation-free. The directive was issued with reference to Jhalawad district collector (DM) Jitendra Kumar Soni’s order to Gaur on Thursday.
Panchayat staff and school teachers have been asked to participate in the morning follow-up work, which requires them to go out at 5am with a team and click pictures of people found defecating in the open and share the pictures either on their WhatsApp pages or on Pratidin Jagmag Jhalawar group (a group formed by the DM to monitor sanitation activities in the district).
The DEO said teachers would participate in the follow-up work when schools reopen on June 21.
Saying that the decision has been taken in a positive spirit, he said it is shameful that women have to defecate in the open. “The team will comprise block development officers, block-level officers of Swachh Bharat Mission, sarpanches (village heads), anganwadi workers and ration dealers. It has to be done only for three days by a teacher,” said Soni.
State’s school teachers’ body is unhappy with this decision. Ram Krishna Aggarwal of All Rajasthan School Teachers’ Union said, “Is this what the job of a teacher has come to? This is going to dent the dignity of teachers and the teaching profession.”