Chief Minister Anandiben Patel was in for a rude shock, on her visit to Narmada, when she decided to make an unscheduled stop at the Kevadia Colony primary school for a “Cleanliness Awareness campaign”. In a complete contrast, the school had reeking toilets, dusty classrooms, a locked science laboratory and unhygienic meals for students.
As Patel reached the Bhagatsinh Government Primary School in Kevadia colony, Narmada, in the vicinity of the Sardar Sarovar dam, unkempt classes and unclean toilets “put her off”. In her 45 minute stop at the school, Patel inspected some of the “untidy” classrooms and took stock of the cleanliness in the school toilets. As she approached the end of the floor where the toilets are located, the reeking stench forced Patel to instantly cover her nose. However, she insisted on conducting a physical check of the toilets, asking district education officers to accompany her. When Patel found them “unusable”, she instantly turned to the principal and teachers of the school, questioning them about the lack of tidiness.
“We are trying to inculcate cleanliness and hygiene to the students and the condition of the school is simply against the values. What are you doing?” Patel is said to have asked the principal. A visibly upset Patel dictated a list of instructions to the embarrassed district officials accompanying her, including District Secondary Education officer, DD Patel.
Patel expressed her dissatisfaction about the hygiene of the room where meals served to the school students is cooked. She instructed officials to ensure that the grains used for cooking food for the students is washed and cleaned before being cooked. Patel also visited a secondary school in the vicinity and rebuked the staff for similar lack of hygiene. Here, Patel expressed wish to see the science laboratory but was met with locked doors — keys to which remained untraceable to the school staff for over ten minutes.
DD Patel said, “Our biology teacher is not regular here and so we faced a problem in locating the keys. The Chief Minister was unhappy and has asked us to ensure that the schools are following the cleanliness orders. We will put it into practice.”