After facing an embarrassment by distributing school bags bearing Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s photo, Chhota Udepur district panchayat has decided to recall all the 12,000-odd schools bags and distribute new ones. According to district education officials, the vendor, who had supplied these bags for the Gujarat Government’s ‘Shala Praveshotsav’ programme in Chhota Udepur district few days back, will be asked to take back these bags and supply new school bags at no extra cost.
“That vendor actually did cheating by supplying such bags (having Yadav’s photo). Thus, we have decided to recall 12,000 such school bags and return it to the vendor, who will have to provide an equal number of new bags without charging a single penny,” said district primary education officer(DPEO), M G Prajapati.
Earlier on June 13, around 12,000 school bags were distributed among the students of government-run primary schools in this tribal-dominated district under the state government’s ‘Shala Praveshotsav’ programme, an annual drive to enrol students in class 1. These school bags came with stickers reading ‘Jilla Panchayat Shala Praveshotsav’. However, when school teachers removed that sticker from some of the bags out of curiosity, they found former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s screen-printed picture beneath it.
It was then revealed that the bags were apparently manufactured by that vendor for distribution in Uttar Pradesh when the Samajwadi Party was in power.
“That vendor cheated us. He was supposed to manufacture bags having only our logo and message on it. Apart from getting these bags replaced without paying any money, we would take punitive action against him for such fraudulent trade practise,” said Prajapati. As enrolment drive is yet to take place in the Chhota Udepur town, to be held between June 22 to June 24, only new bags will be distributed, he added.