Relieve us of bird flu duty, say teachers
The Delhi government has deployed school teachers besides civil defence volunteers at various borders to check and report any illegal transportation of poultry or live birds into Delhi. Teachers, however, urged deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday to withdraw the order.
In a state revenue department order on Tuesday, the government constituted five surveillance teams — each led by a government school teacher and accompanied by two civil defence volunteers — to check the spread of bird flu in Delhi.
The viral infection was confirmed in the city on Monday after more than 150 while birds were found dead in various parts of the capital, prompting the Delhi government to shut the Ghazipur poultry market for 10 days and ban the import of live birds without a valid health certificate and the sale of packaged or processed chicken.
The teams have been asked to stay put at the borders from 8 pm to 6 am, something that has not gone down well with teachers. These teams have been deployed at Auchandi Border, Saboli border, Safiabad border, Lampur border and Muneerpur border — entry points from where most of the poultry or live birds arrive in Delhi.
The government order states that the teams have to ensure that no vehicle carrying live poultry birds in Delhi is allowed to enter without a valid veterinary health certificate from an authorised veterinarian of the concerned state government, declaring the farm of origin of birds as free from any infection and contagious disease of birds. They were also asked to prevent the entry or sale of dressed, processed or canned chicken and its products in the Capital.
The government school teachers’ association, (GSTA), Delhi, on Wednesday wrote to Sisodia, who is both education and development minister, to repeal the order and put their teachers back on school duty.
“The revenue department has deputed government school teachers on Delhi borders to check for and to prevent the spread of bird flu under day/night duty. Moreover, teachers have been mostly assigned midnight hours of this duty,” read the letter signed by Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary, GSTA.
“Sir, the teaching community selflessly served when the government and the citizens needed them for Covid-19 prevention. But the revenue department is now taking advantage of the situation and just harassing teachers into unjustified duties... I request you to intervene and stop such deputation of teaching community...,” it stated.
The Delhi government did not respond to queries regarding the teachers’ demand.
A teacher deputed at the borders said there was no detailed brief on what is allowed.
“As of now the order has not been taken back, so I have to report at the border and perform my duty. But I am not sure what exactly we are supposed to do. Will the vehicles even stop on our insistence? We as school teachers know nothing about a health certificate issued by a veterinarian,” the teacher said.