Not just teachers from government schools, even high-ranking educators from city colleges are complaining against being made to participate in preparation and updating of voters’ list in the city. Head of Political Science department at SP College Satish Dhiware is one of them.
“I can barely find time to take classes, as I have to scrutinise the forms pertaining to addition and omission of names from voters' list during college hours. I not only teach undergraduate students, but MA students as well. Being the HOD, I have other responsibilities too, which are getting affected,” Dhiware said.
Physics professor Santosh Darekar echoed these sentiments, adding that apart from performing these duties on weekdays, the teachers are also required to work on Sundays.
“We have been asked to work for Kasba constituency and have also been threatened by the authorities that they will initiate criminal action against us if we don't comply,” Darekar claimed.
Pune University Teachers' Association (PUTA) chairperson Hema More said according to a recent verdict of Bombay High Court, no teacher should be forced to perform election-related duties on weekdays and therefore they have been asked to fulfil these responsibilities during weekends.
District Deputy Election Officer Apurva Wankhede told MiD DAY she hadn’t assigned voters' registration duties to any teacher and the reporter should speak to head of election office in Kasba constituency Ravi Kulkarni. When contacted, Kulkarni said he would not be able to respond on the issue because of ill health.