Patna, Nov 23: Bihar Education Minister Krishnandan Prasad Verma on Thursday said that the order by Block Education Officer (BEO) asking school teachers to click selfies with people defecating in open is a rumour and teachers are not supposed to carry out such a work. Soon after the order being termed as a rumour, the BEO of Kurhani in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, took back his orders.

“Teachers concerned are hereby ordered that they will create awareness about ODF among villagers and guardians in their panchayat. Alongside, they will post photographs (of open defecation). Morning follow-up is scheduled between 6 am and 7 am and evening follow-up between 5 PM and 6 PM,” Kudni BDO Harimohan Kumar’s order read.

On Thursday, Krishnandan Prasad Verma said that the teachers are not supposed to click selfies with the defaulters but convince them to abandon the unhygienic practice. He said, “There’s unnecessary controversy. Teachers are respected in society. Dept thought if they make people aware, they’ll be heard & followed. They weren’t asked to set aside teaching for it.” (Also Read: Telangana Police Deploy Drones to Catch People Defecating Openly)

On being asked about teachers keeping a tab on open defecation defaulters, Verma said, “Clicking selfies with defaulters is a different matter, personally I didn’t like it. We just want teachers to exercise their influence in society and bring awareness.”

Earlier, on November 21, the BEO had ordered school teachers to keep an eye on the people defecating in open at 5 AM and 4 PM  in urban wards and panchayat committees of Muzaffarpur, Bihar. According to the order, the teachers were also supposed to click a picture with the defaulters, apparently to shame them. The principals of the schools were asked to supervise the whole plan to discourage people defecating in open in the state.

The order was issued to meet the December 31 deadline to make Aurangabad “open defecation free”. The teachers, according to the reports, wrote to chief minister Nitish Kumar requesting him to not add to the long list of campaigns and non-academic work.

“Not happy with the orders, a teacher said that The latest orders for us to check open defecation has been sent to us with copies to DM, DDC, SDO, BDO and even local police stations. Imagine how many government work we are expected to do, except teaching?” a teacher had asked.