The district education officer (DEO), however, clarified that the order did not manadate all teachers to be present.
A teacher's organisation of primary and middle school, termed the order by the education authorities as a violation of Right to Education (RTE) Act, according to which services of teachers for such purposes is not allowed.
The Singrauli education department, in its order, directed teachers to serve food to the guests at the government-sponsored mass wedding ceremony, in which 2,400 couples tied knots. The event was witnessed by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and several other dignitaries.
"Yes, I had issued an order asking the teachers to serve food and also to perform other works during the mass wedding," Singrauli's DEO R K Dubey told PTI.
"This historic mass wedding ceremony was expected to be attended by 50,000 to one lakh guests. So, the teachers were told to be present and help in ensuring the arrangements at the venue through this order," Mr Dubey said.
"There was buffet system for dining at this ceremony, so the services of teachers were not required for serving the food," he said.
In this order issued on May 20 by the DEO, the names of teachers were mentioned along with the specific dish they were supposed to serve.
He said the RTE Act clearly said that services of teachers cannot be used for the non-teaching work except during elections or natural calamities like flood and earthquake.
The government-sponsored mass wedding had over 300 priests performing ceremonies for over 2,400 couples under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana.
According to the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana, the state government provides Rs 17,000 for the bride, gifts worth Rs 5,000 along with a smart phone that is given to the couple.
The Chief Minister, in his address at the event, said in addition, the couples would be provided with a gas connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
(With inputs from PTI)
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