[eebill] FW: A report/press release on public hearing (from SJ)

//was there something also in Bangalore / pres conf in Delhi on GATS / CSS? Someone mentioned today a recent news report but did not recall from it any more than names of SP Shukla, Sadgopal and Agarwal and CABE.

From: "Ashok" <[email protected]>
To: "Glenn Fawcett Locus Outreach" <[email protected]>, "Gita Diwan Verma TownPlanner" <[email protected]>, "Ghanshyam JUDAV" <[email protected]>, "Gerry Pinto UNICEF" <[email protected]>, "Geeta" <[email protected]>
Subject: A report/press release on public hearing Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 14:35:55 +0530


(No to Child Labour-Yes to Education­)

478-479, Lawyers' Chambers,

Western Wing, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi-110054.

Phone: 23910014

Fax: 23986541

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: http://www.socialjurist.com



In continuance of 'Take School To Children Campaign', Social Jurist, a civil rights group, along with Chetanalaya and M.V. Foundation took another concrete step by organizing a 'Public Hearing' at Mukandpur on Sunday, 30th January, 2005 in which more than 3000 parents and children participated. The panel of people responsible for the hearing consisted of Sh. Abu Baker, Chairman, Delhi Minority Commission, Sh. Ashok Agarwal, Advocate and Convener of the Campaign, Ms. Kiran Agarwal, Secretary, Indian Pediatrics Association, Sh. Vijendra Kumar, Municipal Councilor, Rohini, Ms. Reema Banerjee, Convener, Delhi Bal Adhikar Manch, Fr. Fredrick D'Souza, Director, Chetanalaya, and representatives from many NGOs working in the area including Asha and Kirandeep.

The introductory speech was given by Mr. Ashok Agarwal in which he not only highlighted the plights of the children and the parents of the locality, but also brought to notice other factors like existence of one lakh child labour in Jahangirpuri-Bhalaswa area alone, insufficient number of schools, failure of the government and MCD to provide quality education to 47,000 school going children in the area. He urged the general public to raise their voices against the wrongs. He also demanded doubling the number of Municipal and Delhi Government Schools in the area and opening of residential schools to deal with the children engaged in labour. The government has not implemented Delhi School Education Act, 1973, which mandates the government to open residential schools. The government has been violating the fundamental right to education of the children with impunity, said Mr. Agarwal.

This was followed by an open public hearing in which lots of parents and children came up with their problems and complaints, which ranged from security of children to misbehavior by teachers to non-availability of schools and transport facilities etc. It must be noted that in Mukundpur, which consists the population of 1.5 lakhs, there is only one primary school up to class 5th and no government school at all. For studying in higher classes, they have to seek admission in schools of nearby areas which are 4-5 km. away where they are merely "harassed" by the school authorities, as told by a mother whose daughters have finished primary school education.

The local residents came out with all their grudges against the educational system. The pivot lied onto the basic facilities like availability of toilets, good drinking water, especial facilities for the disabled children, good behavior of teachers and transport facilities etc. Poonam, a class IVth student has no option left than to leave the study because there is no school after class V in the area. One local resident mother Lalita told that her son has refused to go to the school after he met with an accident while going to the school. "My son has lost his legs and it could have been prevented if the school was nearby" she added to her heartrending story. A little boy named Ramu, who was studying in class VIth, also met with an accident in the similar way and left the studies thereafter. The consequence of these accidents made a negative impact over the local residents and now they fear to send their children to the schools. Rakhi, who is a student of class V told that teacher never teaches and children pass the examinations by cheating. Without knowing any thing, they are promoted to the higher class and when they go to the secondary school level, they fail there due to lack of basic knowledge. Rakhi revealed one sensational information that teachers usually sit outside the classroom for some refreshments during class periods, giving the task to the eldest student of the class to "control" rest of the students. Whenever the "monitor" complains to the teacher against any student, teacher makes the whole class, which is normally not less than of 50 children, to slap that student. Fr. D'Souza demanded the suspension of such teachers without further ado saying it to be the violation of basic human rights.

The people expressed their anger against the area MLA and the municipal councilors for their failure to pay attention to the school related problems. The local MLA before the election cracked the coconut three times on the proposed government school land and assured immediate construction of school but after the election, the MLA did not even visit the area, one veteran Pradhan of the area said.

In his short speech, Mr Abu Baker, drew the attention on the necessity of proper implementation of the law. "Law and provisions are already there, the need is of its proper implementation," he emphasized. Having served the society as a teacher throughout his life, Mr. Baker extended his hand to the people of Mukandpur for every help and support.

Other eminent speakers also raised their voices against the discrepancies on the part of government and stressed on providing not only educational, but also medical facilities, etc. to children. Mr. Vijender Kr. Gupta assured the gathering that he would take up their cause and would fight along with them for their basic fundamental and human rights. Dr. Kiran Agarwal requested the gathering to communicate their complaints in writing to the authorities and she would also do her best to take up their cause with the authorities.

The public hearing culminated into the following demands:-

1. The strength of government and MCD schools should be doubled.

2. At least 5 government and 5 MCD schools in Bhalaswa-Jahangirpuri area should be declared residential schools.

3. Government school should be opened in Mukandpur area.

4. Government and MCD should ensure availability of basic physical and academic infrastructure in the existing schools.

5. Government and MCD should ensure quality education to the school going children and action should be taken against the erring teachers.

Mr. Akbar Ali, an activist from Chetnalaya, gave vote of thanks.

(Ashok Agarwal)

Advocate, Convener

Take School to Children Campaign


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