Teachers asked to certify they and their family don’t defecate in open
Over 9200 Madhya Pradesh government employees, mostly teachers, in Rajgarh district have to provide a certificate by the middle of this month that they have a toilet at home and neither they nor any of their family members defecate in the openbhopal Updated: Nov 12, 2017 22:19 IST
Over 9200 Madhya Pradesh government employees, mostly teachers, in Rajgarh district have to provide a certificate by the middle of this month that they have a toilet at home and neither they nor any of their family members defecate in the open. If they fail to provide certificates in this regard, their salaries would be withheld. The order in this regard has been issued by the district education officer (DEO) Rajgarh. HT has a copy of the order.
The Rajgarh district is yet to be declared open defecation free (ODF). Nearly 65 % of individual households in the district toilet facilities, according to the website of union ministry of drinking water and sanitation
SK Mishra, DEO Rajgarh told HT on the phone that he issued the order, directing his subordinate officers like block education officers and cluster heads to ensure all employees provide the certificate to certify that they have a toilet at home, and neither they nor any of their family members defecate in the open.
“The certificates for all 9200 employees of the education department here have to reach my office by around November 15. If they fail to do so, their salaries will be withheld”, he said. Mishra added if his subordinate officers hide or provide wrong information about toilets and their usage by employees, disciplinary action would be taken against such officers.
Questioned if the employee uses the toilet but any of his family members don’t use, would the department still take action against the employee, Mishra said, “ Yes, still his salary would be withheld. See the logic behind this is that teachers are the torchbearers of moral principles and role models for the students and the locality where they live. If they can’t ensure use of toilet at home, how can they inspire their students towards good habits”, he said.
The order has enraged the teacher community in the state. Ashutosh Pandey, general secretary Madhya Pradesh Teachers Association, which claims to have 2.5 lakh members, told HT that if the order was not rolled back at the earliest, they will start agitation and gheroe DEO’s office. “Some officers just to please their masters, are issuing whimsical orders”, he said.
This is not the first time when teachers have been pushed to stop open defecation. In September this year, in a first of its kind case in the state, a government teacher was suspended for open defecation in Ashoknagar district, with the reasoning that it “amounted to misconduct by a government official”. The order said he had violated the government’s ambitious scheme Swachh Bharat Mission by going for open defecation despite the fact there was a toilet at his home. In June last year, teachers in Satna district were ordered to keep watch on people who defecate in the open in the morning and evening time and take photos of such people on their mobile phones. Block education officer (BEO) who issued the order had even issued directions for the constitution of a six-member committee of teachers for implementation of the order.
In September, four people were also arrested in Panna district for not completing construction of toilets under swachh bharat mission. The arrests were made under section 151of CrPc (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences.) on the order of sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Panna.
With MP having around 52000 inhabited villages, the district administrations are racing against time to ensure their respective districts are declared ODF as soon as possible.
Of 51 districts in MP, 13 districts and 18,594 villages have been declared ODF so far.
The Centre, under Swachh Bharat Mission has set a target to make the country open defecation-free by October 2, 2019, which coincides with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.