This week, the headmaster of a primary school in an Uttar Pradesh took advantage of the summer vacations to use the premises to run a poultry farm.
The Times of India reported that the headmaster of the school in Uttar Pradesh's Darshanpur village in Rampur district had colluded with the gram pradhan's husband to run a poultry farm on the premises. The livestock of other villagers was also tethered in the school premises. A video was uploaded, resulting in the police suspending a teacher and the headmaster.
However, this isn't the only example of Indian schools being used for strange purposes, from a wedding venue to a cattle shed. Here are some of the most bizarre examples over the years.
1. In March, 12 bottles of Indian made foreign liquor were recovered from a government primary school in Gaya district in Bihar, where the manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor has been banned since April 2016. Hindustan Times reported that bottles had been concealed in bags of rice meant for midday meals. The police arrested four school teachers for smuggling the liquor in the school's storeroom and kitchen.
2. In Jalandhar, the playground of a a government primary school was converted to a wedding venue during school hours. The Times of India reported that the teachers and students had to squeeze through a tiny passage on one side of tent, and conduct classes while the function was conducted outside. The school-in-charge alleged that the function was organised even though she had denied them permission. "They erected a tent at night and when we came here on Thursday morning, we saw that all arrangements had been made and food was being prepared" by the organisers, an NRI family, at the behest of a former councillor.
3. In 2009, a private school in Delhi suspended classes for two days to hold a wedding reception on its premises. The Times of India reported that the students of the KR Mangalam World School told parents about a sudden two-day break without giving any reason. Later, it was discovered that the school premises were being used for organising the owner's son's wedding.
4. In 2016, the BSF and CRPF set up camps in several government schools in Srinagar and other places across the Kashmir valley, amidst local protests after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July. After the schools were closed, The Week reported that the troops had placed sleeping cots in classrooms, fortified the buildings, and encircled playgrounds with barbed wires.
5. Across India, several schools are used as polling booths during elections. However, in Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, over 50 schools open only during poll time. The Times of India reported that these schools had been closed for 3-4 years due to a lack of students since the families of children studying in the area had migrated to other areas in the state in search of better livelihood opportunities. Instead, these abandoned schools were opened, cleaned up and used as poll booths during elections.
6. In Chennai, a functionary of the DMK party had organised a grand feast for his supporters on the premises of a corporation primary school. The Times of India reported that the ceremony was attended by large numbers of party members. The mayor finally suspended several officials for "allowing individuals to take over the premises without permission".
7. A government primary school in Kevlali village in Madhya Pradesh's Bundelkhand region was being used as a cowshed. The school had been built by the village panchayat due an increasing number of children enrolling in schools. Villagers told The Times of India that the building had been encroached by an influential local to house cows, bulls and calves and stock fodder.
8. The excise department of Gurgaon discovered liquor stock worth Rs 15 lakh being stored in a school on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Officials recovered 780 bottles of liquor from the Starex International School, and told Mumbai Mirror that it may have been used as a cover to store and hide liquor illegally.
9. Local police discovered that a primary school in Uttarkhand's Chamoli district was being used for stocking and selling country-made liquor. Dainik Bhaskar reported that the police even discovered a large amount of raw materials required for distilling liquor in the school premises.