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18 Sep 2017

MP govt orders teachers to dig holes for toilets

As part of PM Narendra Modi's birthday celebrations, the Centre observed September 17 as "Seva Diwas", a part of the 15-day "Swachhta hi Seva" campaign inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind.

But government school teachers in MP's Tikamgarh weren't expecting a weird duty: to dig holes for toilets.

What exactly was the order about? Read on to find out.

In context

Why are Tikamgarh's school teachers digging toilet holes

Digging pits

What were the teachers asked to do?

Tikamgarh's district education officer issued a letter that under the "Swachhta hi Seva" programme, pits will be dug for constructing toilets in village panchayats. Teachers were asked to contribute along with their subordinate staff.

Though the letter didn't specify Modi's birthday, the event did coincide with it.

Apart from teachers, CM Shivraj Chouhan and cabinet ministers were also asked to dig toilets.


What was the teachers' reaction?

Following the government's order, Madhya Pradesh Adhyapak Sangharsh Samiti vice president Vivek Khare expressed anger at the government, saying "the administration is not leaving any stone unturned to hurt" teachers' dignity.

They said "the CM and others" will dig for a "photo opportunity." Once photographers are gone, "the digging will stop."

Another teacher claimed that only Tikamgarh district's teachers were given this order.

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A case of misinterpretation, claims government official


A case of misinterpretation, claims government official

Tikamgarh education officer BL Lohariya who allegedly gave the order dismissed the angry reactions saying "the order was misinterpreted by teachers."

Teachers were asked "to ensure that the construction of those toilets for which government has already released money is expedited," he claimed, not dig holes themselves.

There were 20-25 incomplete toilets and teachers were supposed to motivate people to complete it, he said.

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