Teacher suspended in Bihar for selling empty mid-day meal bags as per government ordertext_fields
After a video of a teacher selling empty mid-day meal sacks went viral on social media, he was suspended for "tarnishing the image of the government".
The state government's education department gave the primary teachers of Bihar a written order to sell empty mid-day meal gunny sacks. Mohammad Tamizuddin from Barua village of Katihar district has been following the order, reported The Wire.
He also hung a placard around his neck while standing at a small market. The placard read, "I am a teacher of a government school in Bihar. I am selling empty sacks on government orders."
On July 22, the director of the mid-day meal scheme (Bihar) ordered all district programme officers to ensure that empty sacks of food grains – mainly rice bags – for the financial years of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 are sold at the rate of Rs 10 per sack. And the money earned by selling gunny bags [is] to be deposited in a mid-day meal account.
The scheme was expected to fetch the government Rs 55,887,358. If the school headmaster does not deposit the amount, he/she can be charged with embezzlement, said a report by Hindustan newspaper.
The Panchayat Secretary wrote in the suspension order that Tamizuddin has not complied with the departmental order. When he was asked to submit the report (about the sale of gunny sacks), he made a video of himself and posted it on social media.
"This conduct of Tamizuddin is contrary to the teacher's code of conduct, and it indicates the loss of government revenue and financial irregularities. Tamizuddin's act has tarnished the image of the district administration and the government," read the suspension order received by the 46-year-old teacher.
Tamizuddin told The Wire that his intentions were to sell the sacks and show the public the plight of teachers. He added that the placard was hung so that people don't think that he stole the meal sacks from school, reported The Wire.
He further added that no one bought the sacks from him as they were torn. And the video was made by some strangers, and he had no idea that it would be posted on social media.
The mid-day meal programme was started in 1995 to provide children with free lunch. Tanizuddin said that the order to sell the gunny sack is disrespectful to teachers whose job is to teach children. The government only provides rice. Teachers have to buy other ingredients by themselves.