Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Archaic Delhi Government School at Nathupura shuts its door for 12 year old deaf and dumb girl

ALL INDIA PARENTS ASSOCIATION Aggarwal Bhawan, G. T. Karnal Road, Tis Hazari, Delhi -110054 To Prof. Ms. Kiran Walia Education Minister Government of NCT of Delhi Secretariat I.P. Estate New Delhi-11002 17.07.2013 Sub: - Archaic Delhi Government School at Nathupura shuts its door for 12 year old deaf and dumb girl Dear Madam, An appalling story of grave apathy towards disabled children and their rights, coupled with blatant disregard of various laws and Delhi High Court Orders has come to light wherein the Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Nathu Pura, Delhi-84 has denied admission to a 12 year-old deaf and dumb girl, Shivani purely on the ground of her disability, that too, after making her and her father run from pillar to pole for half a month. . Shivani’s father has approached me with a written complaint dated 17.07.2013 seeking assistance for getting the girl admitted to the nearby government school. The said complaint letter is enclosed hereto for your reference. Kumari Shivani d/o Shesh Mani Misra (09891281090) r/o 576, Gali no. 25, Chandan Vihar, West Sant Nagar, Burari, Delhi-110084 has passed class VII from Bajrang Vidya Mandir Junior High School, Beera Pur Kelalal Khan, Faizabad while staying with her grandparents in the village. Now she has shifted to Delhi and is living with her father at Burari. She possesses a valid Transfer Certificate from the previous school duly counter signed by the Education Officer. Kumari Shivani along with her father had approached the Government Girls Senior Secondary School (First Shift) Nathu Pura, Delhi-110084 on 02.07.2013 for her admission to class VIII. The Principal of the school asked her father to produce the girl’s Aadhar card and also get a bank account opened in her name as a pre-condition for her admission. Without getting demoralized by such tedious and ridiculous pre-conditions, the girl and her father took steps to get both the formalities completed and again approached the school on 15.07.2013.This time, to their utter surprise, they were told by the school Principal that the school does not fall in the area in which she resides and therefore they should approach the government school at Burari. They now turned to the Government School at Burari and were as usual directed back to the Nathupura school. Determined not to give up, the father and daughter again went to Nathupura School on 16.07.2013. But this time around, the Principal at Nathu Pura School blatantly cited the reason of her disability to deny her admission. She further directed the father and daughter to either approach another school or go to the Education Officer at Lucknow Road. Shivani is now sitting idle at home while her father is running from pillar to pole at the cost of his work in his effort to afford her an admission in the nearby school. The most horrible part of the story is that this is not the first case where a government school has denied admission to a child with disability but it is a routine affair. It is quite apparent from such repeated instances that the persons who are manning the schools are highly insensitive and ignorant of the right to education of children with disability. Astonishingly, the token service being rendered to the handful of disabled children in Delhi Government schools through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan Resource Teachers too has been withdrawn by the Government, as these resource teachers have been disengaged. Thus the Government now seems to have resorted to a policy of naked disregard for the disabled children. It is needless to reiterate here that way back in 2009 the Hon’ble High Court in a Social Jurist PIL has expressly directed that no state run school shall deny admission to any child with disability, besides directing the appointment of at least two special educators in each school. Moreover, the 2010 Amendment in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 has clearly emphasized that every child with disability has an equal fundamental and statutory right to study in a full time main-stream school. Therefore the officers who deny admission to children with disabilities are not only guilty of violating the Fundamental and statuary rights of these children available to them under Articles 14, 21A and 38 of the Constitution of India and the RTE Act, 2009 but also of contempt of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. Unfortunately the Government of Delhi has always been soft towards these erring officials. I hope and expect that the government will take immediate action in this matter and set an effective precedent for all government officials to be careful, vigilant and sensitive towards the legal rights of the children with disabilities. In the meantime, it is requested that appropriate steps be taken to get the girl admitted to the school on priority basis without any delay and ensure appropriate assistance to her in overcoming the hurdles likely to be faced by her in her education on account of disability. With Regards Ashok Agarwal, Advocate National President, AIPA M:-9811101923

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