Teachers told to serve Kanwariyas in Lakhimpur after Yogi asks officials to show 'sewa bhav' to Kanwar Yatra
On Monday, all the schools around Gola in Lakhimpur Kheri were closed and teachers were asked to serve the Kanwariyas. By evening a list was prepared as to how many teachers had served them
On Monday, all the schools around Gola in Lakhimpur Kheri were closed and teachers were asked to serve the Kanwariyas. By evening a list was prepared as to how many teachers had served the Kanwariyas. As the news spread, the teachers’ association raised voice against the decision of the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) of Lakhimpur to give additional work to teachers.
The BSA, Laxmi Kant Pandey, in his order, had said that during the Sawan month, government schools will remain closed on every Monday but the teachers of these schools will serve the people who are out on the Kanwar Yatra.
The order specifically assigned duties to 81 teachers. The order also specified that it is mandatory for the teachers to participate in the yatra. The order ends with a warning that teachers violating this order would be punished. He cites Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s directives where he has asked the officials to show `sewa bhav’ towards the Kanwariyas. Following this, flower petals are being showered on Kanwariyas during the Yatra.
As hue and cry was raised, the BSA clarified that it is not mandatory for the teachers to serve Kanwariyas. “Those teachers who want to serve the Kanwariyas can go and join the camps set up by the administration at different points across the Yatra route,” Pandey told this reporter on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, questions are being raised as to why a list of those teachers is being prepared who attended the Sewa duty on Monday last. “The BSA wants to target teachers and therefore he has made a list of teachers who attended the sewa camp. If it is a voluntary act, there was no need to make the list,” a teacher of a government school in Gola said.
He said it is not the first time that schools are being closed because footfall increases during Sawan. The schools which are within a radius of 3 km from temples in Gola Gokaran Nath are closed every year. But teachers have never been appointed to serve Kanwariays
The Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, known as Kānwariyas who fetch water from the Ganges and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in their local Śiva shrines, or specific temples.
The Government departments like Health, and police set up camps to serve and guide the Kanwariyas.
“The teachers are already overworked. They are made to work during elections, census, polio eradication, and even recently teachers were sent from village to village to make people aware of Covid. The Shiksha Mitra also looks after the mid-day meal scheme,” Manvendra Singh of Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Teachers’ association said.
Not the first time
This is not the first time teachers have been made to assist in religious Yatra. In 2020 the administration of Hardoi had asked teachers of government primary schools to make food and arrange for the stay of the participants of the Ganga Yatra.
As per the order, teachers and cooks of at least 10 government primary schools were asked to arrange snacks, dinner, and breakfast for the participants of Ganga Yatra as "the Yatris were scheduled to take night halt in the district." Those schools fall under two blocks-Bilgram and Sandi in Hardoi district.