A Civil Rights Group
The Chief Secretary,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi,
New Delhi- 110002.
Sub:- Violation of Right to Education of 392 mentally retarded children of Delhi Govt. run‘ Asha Kiran Home’.
By this letter, we are seeking your immediate intervention in this matter relating to violation of Right to Education of as many as 392 mentally retarded children in the age group 5 to 18 years of Delhi Government run ‘Asha Kiran Home’, at Rohini, Delhi.
The Social Welfare Department of the Govt. of NCT of Delhi has been running a Home namely ‘Asha Kiran’ at Rohini, Delhi for mentally retarded persons. It has been providing shelter to nearly 800 mentally retarded persons which include 392 children in the age group 5 to 18 years. Most of these persons are destitutes. It is needless to say that all children including children with disabilities have fundamental and human right to education as guaranteed to them under Articles 14, 15, 21, 21-A and 38 of the Constitution of India read with the provisions of Delhi School Education Act, 1973, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008). It is also needless to say that all the children with disabilities are entitled to education in the mainstream school.
It is submitted the Asha Kiran Home have facilities for care and protection of mentally retarded children but it has no facility so far as the Right to Education of these children are concerned. Therefore, Department of Education has a role here.
That Mr. Ashok Agarwal, Advocate is a member of the Advisory Committee constituted by the Directorate of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary (Education) in terms of the Orders of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Social Jurist PIL relating to education of children with disabilities, He raised the issue about the Right to Education of the children staying in Delhi Government run Asha Kiran Home in the meeting dated 06.12.2010. It was decided that a team from the Department of Education would visit Asha Kiran Home to identify the children entitled to be enrolled in the mainstream school and thereafter, to take necessary steps to get them enrolled in the mainstream school.
It is submitted that in terms of the aforesaid decision, initially Mr. Ashok Agarwal along with officials from the Education Department headed by Mr. R. P. Yadav, DDE visited Asha Kiran Home and deliberated with the Home’s Administrator. Thereafter, 12 Resource Teachers from the Directorate of Education visited the Asha Kiran Home from 12.03.2011 to 26.03.2011 and again from 04.04.2011 to 07.04.2011 to assess the children staying therein for the purpose of providing them education. During the said visits, the Resource Teachers Team assessed as many as 392 children between the age group of 5 to 18 years. 32 Boys and 12 girls were found to be Educable, 83 boys and 61 girls were found to be Trainable, 77 boys and 43 girls were found to be Educable + Trainable, 45 boys and 30 girls were found to be ADL + Custodial.
It is submitted that there is a mainstream government school situated just next to the Asha Kiran Home. We understand that 44 children (32 boys + 12 girls) found in Educable category during the assessment could be immediately sent to Government run mainstream school and so far as the remaining children were concerned, the same could progressively be mainstreamed after preparing them for the same. However, the entire process of mainstreaming these children has come to halt due to unwarranted controversy between the Education Department and the Social Welfare Department. It is not only unfortunate but also tantamount to criminal negligence.
Despite the fact that the Department of Education has been making all efforts for bringing all these 392 MR children in the mainstream school the Department of Social Welfare is refusing to get these children enrolled in the mainstream school on the alleged ground that they could not take risk of sending these children to the school outside the home.
The controversy between the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare is leading to depriving these 392 mentally retarded children of their Right to Education. The process of mainstreaming of such children has already been delayed due to laxity on the part of the Government and any further delay would not only be undesirable but also be fatal.
In view of the above facts, you are requested to kindly intervene into this matter on most urgent basis and sort out the differences and disputes between the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare so to enable all these 392 mentally retarded children to attend the mainstream school at this earliest.
Advisor, Social Jurist