A Civil Rights Group
Mrs. Kiran Walia,
Delhi Education Minister
Government of NCT of Delhi
Sub: Complaint of Corporal Punishment in Delhi Government Schools
Dear Mrs. Kiran Waliaji,
During Lawyers Plus Team visit to Ravidas Camp, near Mother Dairy, Patparganj, Delhi on Sunday 28/10/12, several students have complained to us about frequent practice of corporal punishment in their schools. Class VI student namely Dharamjeet resident of E 119/32, Ravidas Camp, near Mother Dairy, Patparganj, Delhi-92 (M-9958476575) of Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Shakarpur, Delhi92 has shown us his injured finger which was the result of merciless and cruel beatings by his teacher Shri Veer Singh with iron scale few days back. Similarly, Class VIII student namely Ashish Gupta of Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, West Vinod Nagar, Delhi has complained to us that his teacher beats up the students with leather belt and abuses them with filthy words. These students have even expressed their woes in writing on the postcards. These postcards and some of the photos are enclosed hereto for your ready reference.
It is submitted that the aforementioned instances are only samples. The pernicious practice of corporal punishment in Delhi Government Schools as well as in MCD schools is continued unabated despite prohibition under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. It is really a very serious matter.
We sincerely hope that you may take immediate serious action against the erring teachers.
With warm regards,
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
ASHOK AGARWAL 483, Block-II
Advocate Lawyers Chambers,
Delhi High Court
Hon’ble Shri Amitava Lala
Acting Chief Justice
Allahabad High Court
October 26, 2012
Subject: Illegal fee-charging by Girls’ Inter College, Sasni, Hathras, District, U.P. in violation of the RTE Act, 2009
I, Ashok Agarwal, an advocate by profession have been working actively in the field of right to education for the past 15 years. Under the RTE-PIL Postcard Campaign, I have been receiving postcards on violations of the right to education by students from across the country. As part of the same campaign, I have received several post-cards from a student namely Nisha Kumari and a social worker Ms. Sarita Kumari from Hathras regarding charging of fee to the tune of Rs. 600 per child per year by Girls’ Inter College, Sasni, Hathras, Uttar Pradesh (The postcards are enclosed herewith for your consideration).The student is in Class VIII and is still being made to pay fees. The student has expressed that she belongs to a very poor Sheduled Caste family and has three sisters. Her father is unable to bear the fee-expenses and her studies are likely to be discontinued soon due to financial constrains.
It is respectfully submitted that under the Article 21-A of our Constitution as well as under The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act), 2009, which came into force on April 1, 2010, every child has a right to free and compulsory education upto Class VIII. Section 3 of the RTE Act is reproduced below:
3. (1) Every child of the age of six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education.
(2) For the purpose of sub-section (1), no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing the elementary education.
It is submitted that the Girls’ Inter College, Sasni, Hathras is fully owned and controlled by the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Under Section 12 (1) (a) of the RTE Act, a school established, owned or controlled by a government or local authority is bound to impart absolutely free elementary education to all the students on its roll.
Section 12 (1) (a) reads as under:
12 (1) For the purposes of this Act, a school-
(a) Specified in sub-clause (i) of clause (n) of Section 2 shall provide free and compulsory elementary education to all children admitted therein;
Section 2 (i) (n) is reproduced below:
2 (n) “school” means any recognized school imparting elementary education and includes—
(i) A school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate government or a local authority
In view of the above-cited provisions of the Act, the act of the Girls’ Inter-College, Sasni, Hathras of charging fee from students of Class VIII and below, is in clear violation of the law of the land.
The school must stop illegal charging from the students and also refund all charges on account of school fee collected from April 2010 onwards.
It is therefore requested that this letter along with the post-cards enclosed hereto may kindly be treated as a Public Interest Litigation and necessary directions to the authorities as may deem fit and proper to your good self be issued.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal
Mobile No. 09811101923
SOCIAL JURIST 478-479, Lawyers Chambers
A Civil Rights Group Western Wing, Tis Hazari Courts
Delhi-54, Phone: 23910014
Hon’ble Prof. Kiran Walia
Minister of Education
Govt. of NCT of Delhi
October 25, 2012
Subject: Dismal state of affairs prevalent in Delhi Govt. Schools
Through this letter, I wish to draw your attention towards the sorry state of affairs in the government-run schools of our city. As these schools are the mainstay of our schooling system where the masses send their children, the quality of these schools is of peculiar concern to all of us.
I have been receiving post-cards and letters from school-students across the city in which they narrate their hardships. One such batch of post-cards has been recently received by me from students and parents of Government Senior Secondary School, Radhey Shyam Park, Delhi-51. In these 44 postcards, students and parents have highlighted a wide range of problems ranging from unhygienic conditions to lack of quality teaching. It is a double shift school with a cumulative strength of several thousand students, but it runs without even the most basic amenities such as drinking water. The gist of these problems is produced below:
PROBLEMS PERTAINING TO HEALTH AND HYGIENE
1. Highly unhygienic conditions prevail generally in the school. Heaps of garbage keep lying here and there. There is not a single garbage-bin in the school. The school in itself looks like a garbage-bin. Stray dogs enter the building and classrooms and excrete in the classrooms. Water-logging is also there. Walls are also very dirty and have not been white-washed for years. Moreover, there are abusive words written on them.
2. Toilets also remain full of filth and pose a health-risk to the students. They are also devoid of water supply. Sometimes, the toilets are locked, forcing children to urinate in the open, which causes additional mess. The stink from the toilet reaches upto the classrooms and spoils the environment. There is no water in the school even for washing hands.
3. Mosquito-breeding is also rampant in the school. One of the school-children has also got infected with Malaria due to mosquitoes.
4. There is no provision of clean drinking water in the school. The drinking water tank is never cleaned and usually dry. There is also garbage-deposition around the water tank. Only two taps give out water occasionally. The water drawn from them tastes bitter. Children often fall ill by consuming that water. Some children bring their own water-bottles but that water cannot last whole day long and also becomes hot in summers.
5. The quality of mid-day meals is also poor.
PROBLEMS REGARDING INFRASTRUCTURE
6. There is shortage of electric provisions in the classrooms. Fans are in broken, damaged and non-functional state. Further, electric supply itself is a rare phenomenon. The problem of electricity leads to reduced attendance in summers.
7. In classrooms, there are either no desks or broken desks. Small students are made to sit on shabby and torn durries.
8. The black-boards have not been polished or painted for years and have turned dull. In the absence of proper lighting, it is very difficult to see what is written on them. Poorly lit classrooms, absence of working fans and proper sitting arrangement makes it particularly difficult for students to write their exams.
9. Window panes are broken which brings chilling air to the classrooms in winters.
10. The roofs of the classrooms are made of tin, from which lizards often enter and fall down upon the students.
11. There is also no greenery in the school.
ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES
12. There is a great shortage of teachers in the school. There is no teacher for Urdu in the school due to which, the students are facing a lot of difficulty.
13. The teachers of the school do not teach properly and do not pay attention towards the children. Very few periods are conducted. Teacher-absenteeism prevails.
14. The Principal of the school pays no attention towards the problems of the school. The school-authorities do not listen to the parents of the children.
15. There is apparently no guard employed in the school. One of the students has complained that on one of the days, an outsider woman entered the school during lunch-time and started beating up the students indiscriminately with a cane. The students could not even take their lunch properly because of the same. The absence of a guard is also apparent from the fact that students enter and leave the school at any time of the day.
16. PT periods are not conducted properly in the school.
17. Teachers make students broom the classrooms.
Since such problems are a common feature in most of the Delhi-Government schools and are crippling the very foundation of our education system, we look up to you in hope that in your tenure, the conditions in this school and other schools run by the Govt. of NCT of Delhi will be ameliorated.
With warm regards
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
Despite charging Rupees Three Thousands for MRI from the poor parents (BPL Holders), Delhi Government run Lok Nayak Hospital failed do the MRI of one year old child suffering from neck tumor. Firstly, they were told that MRI machine was non-functional and to come on 01.10.2012 and when they came on 01.10.2012, at about 2.30 pm they were told that MRI was not possible due to Doctors’ strike and they were told to come on 17 October 2012. When the parents asked to return Rs.3000/-, they were told that it was not so easy. Disgusted with state of Lok Nayak Hospital, the mother and the child approached Advocate Ashok Agarwal for help. Ashok Agarwal talked to the Medical Officer of Bensup Hospital, Dwarka and thereafter referred the patient to Bensup Hospital for totally free treatment under EWS category. On reaching, the patient was examined by the Doctors at Bensup Hospital and was advised to come again on Wednesday 03.10.2012 for further treatment.