On the occasion of Teachers’ Day, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Wednesday asked male teachers to exercise restraint in their behaviour, especially when it comes to their female colleagues, students or even daughters.
Referring to cases of sexual harassment lodged against teachers, the minister said, “This is not acceptable in this profession.”
Chudasama was addressing a gathering of teachers who had assembled from across the district for the Teachers’ Day felicitation programme held here.
The minister referred to a line from Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn ‘Vaishnav jana’ — ’Para Stri Jene Maat Re…’ (For whom a woman belonging to another is like a mother) penned by Gujarat’s famous poet Narsinh Mehta, and asked teachers to follow it. “This is the reason why Narsinh Mehta’s hymn has been incorporated in Class IX and X curriculum,” he added.
Referring to a recent incident in Banaskantha’s Deesa taluka where a government school teacher was found drunk, the minister said, “Four-five days ago, I was in Rajkot. The media asked me have you seen television? You can understand how I would have felt. In Banaskantha’s Deesa taluka, the teacher’s gait was unsteady. I called up the principal and his colleague, and sought an explanation from them.”
So let’s promise that our behaviour should not send out a wrong message to the society, he said, adding, “Students take note of their teachers’ minute things like attire, how they speak, how they walk. There should not be such teachers who eat masala (tobacco) or smoke a beedi.”
Chudasama later told The Indian Express, “Taking immediate action, I had suspended the teacher concerned. Due to such behaviour, the entire foundation is shaken.”
On the message of ‘restrain’ in teacher’s behaviour with female colleagues, he said, “Sometimes it is good to send across these messages in such a manner and on such an occasion.”
Describing teachers as the foundation of the society, the minister said, “No matter whether he is Adani or Ambani. People will forget Adani or Ambani but will remember the highway from where they took off. You may see 150 storey-building but it stands tall on its foundation. Similarly, we are seen on TV but even today I remember my foundation Mohan Lal Bhatt and Mahender Tiwari, my teachers,” he said.
The event saw regularisation of 301 contractual teachers of Ahmedabad district who completed their five years. These teachers were handed out digital letters along with their QR codes.