Teacher complains about peon drying clothes in classroom, gets transferred

Peon gets mild punishment; school principal says action taken against teacher on basis of past plaints against her

Rakhi Raskar is not only a municipal school teacher, but also a social worker with some 57 awards to her name, including felicitations at the national level.

Having devoted her life to social work, it came as a shock to her when she was hastily transferred from the school where she was working; all this for raising her voice against a woman peon who used the classrooms to dry her clothes and undergarments.

Municipal school teacher Rakhi Raskar, who complained against the peon; despite Raskar's complaint, clothes could still be seen drying on the benches of a classroom in the Dattawadi municipal school yesterday

Raskar now plans to go to the court against the municipal school in Dattawadi and the school board.

Raskar noticed that Pushpa Saswadkar, a woman peon, was using the classrooms in the school to dry her clothes and undergarments.

She brought this to the notice of the headmistress Shashikala Mandekar and Ramchandra Jadhav, school board chief officer, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), on August 17.

Instead of taking stringent action against Saswadkar, the board transferred Raskar from municipal school number 56 to number 125 the same day.

Nine transfers
The school board gave Saswadkar a five-day punishment to clean the floor at the school board office after Raskar's complaint.

On the other hand Raskar has been transferred 15 km away to Kokate Vasti PMC school on Paud Road.

"This is my ninth transfer in the last 15 years," Raskar said. It is sad my headmistress Mandekar did not support me, but instead got me transferred. Mandekar is using political backing and misusing the school property.
She is also using the classroom to keep her domestic items," said Raskar. "I am being victimised by my seniors because I take extra effort for the students and organise various activities to make learning interesting."

Advocate Kantilal Sancheti who is supporting Raskar will help her file a case against the school authorities.

"I have been warned by the PMC school board not to discuss this issue with them since I am an outsider," said Sancheti.

Apart from affecting Raskar, this drastic step by the school authorities has also affected her students. "Such transfers are not done in between academic year," said Avinash Hardikar, a retired school teacher.

Parents of children studying in the school Ranjana Hazare and Ranjana Taktode also supported Raskar. "Raskar is an extremely helpful teacher and told us how we can avail of the SC/ST scholarships for our children.

We are still fighting for the scholarship amount, which we were promised. Raskar also supported us in this regard," said Hazare.

The other side
Sangeeta Tiwari, chairperson, PMC school board, refuted the charges. "We have taken action against the peon Saswadkar too.

Raskar's transfer comes under the purview of Ramchandra Jadhav, school board chief officer.

There were many past complaints against Raskar. Wherever she goes, she creates problems and quarrels with others. Raskar has also filed legal notices against us. We cannot suspend Saswadkar," said Tiwari.

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