In cleanliness overdrive, MP govt orders teachers to dig holes for toilets

Time & Us
Last Updated: September 17, 2017 at 8:58 pm

The one-day programme to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday in Tikamgarh district left teachers of state-run schools fuming and government officials scrambling to justify the ‘humiliating’ order.
Government school teachers in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh are furious after they were assigned a special duty – digging holes for toilets in villages under a one-day movement named ‘Swacchta hi sewa’ on Sunday.
The event was organised by the BJP government to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on Sunday.
The district education officer in Tikamgarh issued a letter to teachers on Friday that under the programme, holes would be dug for construction of toilets in different village panchayats on Sunday and teachers should contribute to the campaign with their subordinate staff.
The letter underlined only the event’s name, not Modi’s birthday.
“In a meeting of district administration, the decision was taken to boost the Swacchta campaign introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The administration was given a target to organise swacchta rallies and also help the panchayats dig holes for toilets. In the letters, we have not mentioned anything about the birthday of the PM but a discussion took place that the message should be conveyed orally that the event is being organised to celebrate the birthday as a swachta sewa,” said an officer requesting anonymity.
The government order left the teachers incensed and humiliated.
Madhya Pradesh Adhyapak Sangharsh Samiti vice president Vivek Khare minced no words as he slammed the government.
“The administration is not leaving any stone unturned to hurt the dignity of teachers. The order clearly states that the teachers have to dig holes for construction of toilets. The campaign and movement shouldn’t be run by hitting honour of teachers,” Khare said.
Tikamgarh district education officer in charge BL Lohariya refuted allegations that the teachers were insulted.
“The order was misinterpreted by teachers. We have just asked to contribute to the public service with village panchayat. It means, they just have to ensure that the construction of those toilets for which government has already released money is expedited. In every village, there are around 20-25 such incomplete toilets and teachers with other panchayat officials will motivate people to complete it,” he said.