In a bizarre development, school teachers from Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh were reportedly forced by the state government to serve food at a mass marriage organised by the state on Monday, the Times of India reported. According to the report, the teachers were taken off the job after they protested, just before the arrival of the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the ceremony.
In a May 20 order, Rajkishore Dubey, the District Education Officer (DEO), asked around 400 teachers to serve food at a wedding organised under the Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojana programme. The orders specified what food item each teacher was to serve to the 2390 couples, being married at the event, and their family members.
“What can we do if there are orders and names on the list? We had no option but to comply with it. All our colleagues were there. This the first time that we are asked to serve food during a function,” Balram Singh, a teacher at the Mahuari Tola primary school in the district told the paper. Singh was ordered to serve dal at the event.
“It felt as if we were waiters. It is against our dignity,” said another teacher requesting anonymity. “Duty is duty, so we obeyed the orders,” said Mohanlal, a teacher at the Ekpai primary school who was instructed to serve salad.
“I am out of station, but I came to know about the incident. This is against the dignity of the teachers. Officials should think twice before assigning such jobs to teachers. We will take a call on further action once the school vacations are over,” Neerja Dwivedi, an office bearer of the Shikshak Adhyapak Sangh’s district unit told ToI.
The school education minister for the state, Deepak Joshi, has now asked the DEO to furnish a report on the matter. “Assigning teachers such jobs is wrong. Apart from Census and election work, teachers should not be assigned any other non-teaching duties,” he told ToI.