Teachers in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh would rather have dogs taste midday meals than be guinea pigs themselves.
The local chapter of Rajya Adhyapak Sangh, the teachers association, has asked its members to feed the meals to stray dogs that abound near schools, observe the effect for 20 minutes and only then eat it and feed to the children.
The advice was in response to the governments order to teachers, issued in the wake of the deaths in Bihar, to taste the meals before offering it to students. Whats the logic in carrying out experiment on teachers? Why not on those who run Self Help Groups or peoples representatives? Never subject yourself to the experiment. Feed it to stray dogs that visit the school daily, reads the one-page advice issued by the Sanghs Jabalpur president Narendra Tripathi on July 20.
In large municipal areas, midday meals are cooked in a centralised kitchen and distributed by an NGO; elsewhere its cooked by SHGs near the school. Jabalpur has 2,389 schools and about 4,000 teachers. We want to ensure safety of kids but should we be made guinea pigs? Tripathi said when asked about the advice which, he said, is being followed.
The authorities, however, would have none of this. If they dont taste the food, they will be punished as its their duty, CEO, Jabalpur District Panchayat, Shailendra Singh said. They can do it jointly with SHGs but they cant avoid it. Dont doctors on VIP duty taste the food?