Education Minister says it was to make them learn ‘guest hospitality

Justifying the incident, Madhya Pradesh education minister Vijay Shah said students were made to serve so that they could learn “guest hospitality”.

Madhya Pradesh: School students made to serve tea and snacks at State Govt’s ‘Balrang Samaroh’ in Bhopal. State Education Minister Vijay Shah was present (Source: ANI)

In an incident that could earn brickbats for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government, students from a state-run school in Bhopal were made to serve tea and snacks at a programme where state education minister Vijay Shah was also present.

Justifying the incident, Shah said students were made to serve so that they could learn “guest hospitality”. “There is also an arrangement of staff to do that but students are being made to serve so that they can also learn guest hospitality,” Shah was quoted as saying by ANI.

There is nothing wrong in “working for school”, Shah told media. While students in school were made to serve tea and snacks to guests, the minister who claims to be against child labour, did not object. Instead, he was seen directing students to serve other guests.

“You are getting it wrong, we have a separate team for service in place, but students are asked to serve so that they can learn hospitality,” he said.

Organised by the state government, ‘Balrang Samaroh’ brought together around 10 thousand children from 22 states in Bhopal.

Anju Bhadoria, Convener of Lok Shikshan Sanchalanalaya, subsequently played down the incident and said, “This has been a tradition here but I also thought it was wrong so I later stopped the students from serving.


Congress chief spokesperson KK Mishra too condemned the act and came down heavy on the minister and his school education department for
hailing the involvement of children in butler service. “It is shameful for the minister as well as the department to force children in butler service at a national level programme while others were taking part in cultural activities on stage. It was shocking to see despite his department’s notification ordering not to involve schoolchildren in any work other than studies the students were serving snacks to the minister and the other guests,” Mishra said.”