Published: 22nd November 2017
Bare it in Bihar: Teachers miffed over duty to monitor, photograph people defecating in the open
Bihar is quite focused on achieving an open defecation free status impacted by the idea of NaMo's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and CM Nitish Kumar's Seven Resolves
School teachers in certain districts of Bihar are fuming over directions from their higher-ups to publicly dissuade open defecation, including taking pictures and constant monitoring. Orders issued by block education officers asked teachers to monitor various wards and panchayat areas in the morning and evening and ask people to poo in the loo.
They were also directed to click photographs to shame those who insisted on relieving themselves in the open. However, the teachers were anything but overjoyed at their new social project. "Teachers are already overworked. They are used in a number of non-teaching works like the census, preparation of voters' list etc. This new order on open defecation is not only an addition, it is also an insult to their dignity," general secretary of Bihar Secondary Teachers' Association, Shatrughan Prasad Singh said.
State Education Minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma, however, defended the move, saying "Teachers are intellectuals and can perform the task of convincing people not to defecate in the open, much better than others. Moreover, the teachers do not have to keep a tab on those defecating in the open throughout the day. They will have to take some time off in the mornings and the evenings. This will not affect their teaching work," he said.
Achieving an open defecation free (ODF) status has become a priority in Bihar in view of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Seven Resolves of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, both of which aim at providing every household with sanitation facility.