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Besides teachers, 1,500 govt employees deputed at Kapal Mochan Mela

Teachers tasked with tough work of distributing prashad at shrines, looking after donations.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2017 16:06 IST
Neeraj Mohan
Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times, Kapal Mochan (Bilaspur)
Haryana,Kapal Mochan Mela,employees deputed at Kapal Mochan Mela
A teacher distributing prashad at one of the temples during the Kapal Mochan Mela in Yamunanagar(HT Photo)

Besides 109 schoolteachers, more than 1,500 employees of various government departments have been deputed to do odd jobs in Kapal Mochan Mela at Yamunanagar district’s Bilaspur town.

Even as the administration has tasked employees of health, electricity, forest, revenue, municipal committees, women and child welfare, public health and public works with doing chores at the fair, teachers claimed that they were given the toughest task of distributing ‘prashad’ (offering) and monitoring donations by thousands of devotees daily.

Safai karamcharis (in khaki) tasked with loading offerings in trucks. (HT Photo)

“We do not have any objection in doing duty but they should give us some respectable work instead of taking care of donations and exchanging the offerings, a Sanskrit teacher said requesting anonymity.

“We are told to sit inside the small temple, which does not have any ventilator and is filled with smoke of earthen lamps. It is very difficult to sit inside for eight hours,” said another teacher.

The teachers said this is not for the first time that they were deputed at the temple. “I have been discharging duty at the temple for the past 7-8 years. This time, I have to stand here for almost 8 hours to distribute prashad and take care of the donation box. It is a tough task,” said Pramod Shashtri, a teacher at Government School, Balachor.

“Besides, this will affect the studies of my students as there is no other Sanskrit teacher in the school,” he said.

Naveen Kumar, another teacher, has been given the task of travelling with a truck carrying the offerings to the store room.

Some teachers said they will not be paid extra for temple duties as they get for election and census duties.

“Though there are 11 priests in all five major temples of the shrine, they are not enough to take care of the devotees round-the-clock. This is the reason teachers are deputed to monitor the offerings and donations,” said a senior administration official.

Besides, patwaris have been deputed to monitor the movement of donations from the shrine to the storeroom.

District administration officials said it is difficult to monitor the situation as lakhs of people take a dip in three Kapal Mochan ponds everyday and they cannot appoint regular staff for the five-day fair.

Bilaspur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Naveen Ahuja, who is the mela administrator, said, “Besides 1,600 government department employees and teachers, over 700 police personnel and 200 safai karamcharis have been deputed so that the fair is held smoothly. This is done since the formation of the shrine board in 2010.”

“The matter was misreported as no action was taken against anybody for not attending the training. They have already joined their duties. Performing duty at the Kapal Mochan temples is a privilege for them since they get opportunity to serve people,” he said.

The total collection in donations during the fair remains around ₹20 lakh, and the government spend this money on the maintenance of ghats, sarovars and temples. Over 1 lakh pilgrims from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh take a dip in the ponds.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 12:50 IST