Saturday, December 24, 2011
A Civil Rights Group
Hon’ble Shri A.K.Sikri
Acting Chief Justice
Delhi High Court,
December 24, 2011
SUBJECT: Innocent school children in Delhi belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society continue to suffer everyday due to lack of basic facilities like desks, water, electricity, clean toilets, teachers in their schools due to the indifference and negligence on the part of the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in implementing the Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009
We had earlier written to you a letter dated 27.05.2010 enclosing therewith as many as 150 postcards having been written on 22.05.2010 by the students from various Government and MCD schools in Jahangirpuri Resettlement Colony and addressed to you highlighting good and bad characteristics of their schools and seeking your intervention for realization of their rights to education. We are happy to say that the Hon’ble High Court was pleased to convert the said letter into a PIL registered as W.P. (C) 4535/2010 entitled Court on its Own Motion vs. Government of NCT of Delhi and MCD and notices were issued to Govt. of NCT of Delhi and MCD. The Hon’ble High Court has been passing orders and directions from time to time in the said PIL and now the date of hearing is fixed for 29.02.2012. It is respectfully submitted that in continuation of the aforesaid letter dated 27.05.2010, we had written another letter dated 12.07.2010 enclosing therewith as many as 65 postcards having been written on 04.07.2010 by the students from Government and MCD schools of Dwarka area and addressed to you highlighting good and bad characteristics of their schools and seeking your intervention for the realization of their rights to education. It is respectfully submitted that the said letter was taken on the record of the above said PIL.
It is respectfully submitted that the above said PIL was not the only case where the Hon’ble High Court has intervened and passed directions to the Government of NCT of Delhi and the MCD. In 1997, the first PIL highlighting the lack of basic amenities in Government and MCD was filed by All India Lawyers Union (Delhi Unit) which was followed by several PILs filed by Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group during the last 14 years highlighting one or the other violation of right to education of the students studying in Government and MCD schools. The Hon’ble Judges must have passed hundreds of orders and directions during the pendency of these PILs with a view to improve the conditions in Government and MCD schools where more than 25 lacs students belonging to weaker sections of the society have been studying.
Undoubtedly, the interventions by the Hon’ble High Court have certainly brought an improvement in the public funded schools in Delhi. However, we are still too far from realizing a good quality education in these schools. Generally, in the morning shifts, girls students are studying whereas in the after noon shifts, boy students are studying. The education imparted to the girl students in the morning shifts is comparatively much better than that imparted to the boy students in the after noon shifts. The standard of education in government schools is little better than that of the MCD schools. However, on the whole, the situation is somewhat alarming because despite so much public spending on education, the out put in terms of learning is very dismal.
We would like to bring to your urgent notice the sad fact that despite the insertion of Article 21-A in the Constitution of India in 2002 and passage of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act, 2009) which have come into effect from 1 April 2010, lacs of innocent school children in Delhi -- mostly belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society who fight all odds to attend school -- continue to suffer innumerable hardships at their schools every single day due to lack of basic facilities like desks, drinking water, electricity, toilets, benches and teachers. This is because of gross negligence on the part of the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in not making any serious efforts to implement the RTE Act, 2009.
It is submitted that besides the lack of infrastructure, in many such schools teachers are not available, the teachers are either not reaching on time and or are not taking the classes at all due to the lack of monitoring and fixing any kind of accountability on the teachers by the authorities concerned. Cases of teachers brutally beating up innocent children has also come to light. Furthermore, the complaints of these hapless school children to their headmasters/principals regarding their problems mostly go unheeded.
The above facts have come to light during the ongoing postcard campaign by the Social Jurist, a civil rights group, in which students and parents at different locations were asked to write postcards highlighting the problems in their schools. As many as 77 postcards which were written by the students of Government as well as of MCD schools on 07.11.2011 at Holambi Kalan Metro Vihar Resettlement Colony, Narela, Delhi are attached hereto for your kind perusal and consideration.
It is submitted that the cases of the students surveyed are telling testimony to not only of the lack of basic physical and academic infrastructure in schools but also of the absence of academics resulted in very poor quality of education in these schools. (1) Rohit, a Class XI student of Rajkiya Co-ed Government School writes, “The school deletes students’ names from the rolls without any reason. We are often thrashed by teachers. What’s worse is that all the windows panes are broken, making it very difficult for us during winter.” (2) Gajraj, a Class XI of Rajkiya Co-ed School, Phase II, Holambi Kalan writes, "For last four years, no computer classes have been conducted in our school. Moreover, instead of teaching us, our Hindi teacher attends phone calls during class hours”. (3) Bulbul, a Class V student of an MCD school in the area, writes: "Our teacher beats us a lot." (4) Rina, Class IX student of Government Secondary School, Holambi and (5) Gaffar, Class VI student say how in the absence of cleaning staff students they are made to do the work and how due to dirty toilets the students skips school. (6) Class X student of Rajkiya Senior Secondary School, Holambi, Phase II, Deepak Kumar and (7) Class X student Rahul Singh and (8) Class VIII student Preeti Kumari's postcards highlight the lack of basic amenities like benches in their schools. (9) Gulfam, Class VI student of Govt Co-ed Secondary School, C Block, Phase II, Holambi writes, “My class teacher does not teach at all and all the time, she listens songs.” (10) Jyoti, Class IX student of Govt Co-ed Sr. Secondary School writes, “Girl students are not given sports opportunity whereas such opportunity is given to boy students. Can girls not rise in life?” (10) Poonam, Class X student of Govt Co-ed Secondary School, C Block, Holambi writes, “My English teacher never explain any thing to the students.” (11) Rinki, Class V student of MCD school writes, “Our Sirji does not behave well with us. When ever we ask any question, he starts scolding us and he is always busy on Cell Phone.” (12) Manoj Kumar, Class X student of Govt Co-ed Secondary School, C Block, Phase II, Holambi Kalan writes, “ Teachers of our school are always busy gossiping with each other and don’t teach us at all.” (13) Vishal, Class XI student of Govt Co-ed Senior Secondary School, Delhi-82 writes, “We don’t have benches to sit in the classrooms.” (14) Priya, Class X student of Government Secondary School writes, “Benches in classroom are not made available to girl students and moreover, there is shortage of teachers.” (15) Jyoti, Class X student of Government Secondary School writes, “There are no desks in the classroom. The facilities like Library and Science Lab are not available in the school.” (16) Annu Kumar, Class XI student of Government Co-ed Secondary School, writes, “Potable water is not available in our school.” (17) Hari Shanker, Class XI of Government Co-ed Secondary School writes,” Our Hindi teacher does not teach us and instead keep him all the time busy on Cell Phone. There is no facility of Computer in the school” and (18) Usha, Class X student of Government Secondary School writes, “Our teachers (Sir & Madam) use abusive language to us and we feel offended. Even our parents have never used such language to us.”
The following problems were highlighted in the postcards:
1. Teacher is not there for teaching.
2. Lack of good behavior towards students.
3. Teachers give them work like to cleaning the classroom, benches, ground etc.
4. Teachers beat the students without any reason.
5. School doesn’t give chance to girl’s to play the games in the school.
6. There is no potable water in the school campus.
7. There is no tap or water supply in the school properly.
8. In some schools, there are no benches for students to sit and do studies well.
9. In the absence of the principal, teachers take them (student) away from the class and give them work to clean the school campus.
10 .Whenever students ask any question, the teachers beat them without any reason.
11 .Lack of education and studies in the school.
12 .Toilets are in bad condition.
13 .Teachers give homework to students without making them understand the topic.
14 .Facilities of computer class and science lab are lacking.
15 .There is no play ground in some schools.
16 .Teachers don’t come to school on time.
17 . Overcrowded classrooms.
The misconduct and negligence on the part of Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is in violation of the Constitutional and the statutory rights of the children to free and compulsory quality elementary education as envisaged in Article 21 (right to life with dignity) and Article 21-A (right to education) of the Constitution of India and in Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. We would also like to mention that though the historic Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 ensures that children between 6-14 years have access to free and quality elementary education, legislating laws is only half the work done. The government has made a promise to millions of children and it is necessary to ensure that the concerned authorities constantly assess the factors that go into preventing the children from attending school. The government and local authorities are obligated to provide schools, set benchmarks, rules of implementation etc regarding various provisions of the Act. The government has to work towards restoring the sanctity of the childhood of school-going children as well as out of school children, including children with disabilities.
It is understood that the Act aims at those who are not privileged enough to exercise their right to quality education. It has become crucial to inculcate equality in our society where large scale disparity prevails. Therefore, every child is equal before law and all of them should have access to the same quality of education. The responsibility of the authorities does not end at bringing such children to school, the essence of the Act is that they actually attend school and complete their elementary education. It is unfortunate that access to education has been a constant struggle for the unprivileged and disempowered. The State was expected to bring all the children into school within ten years of the commencement of the Constitution but miserably failed. Unnikrishnan’s landmark judgment (1993) of the Hon’ble Supreme Court declaring right to education a fundamental right of every child has never been implemented. Now Article 21-A has been inserted in the Constitution which mandates State to provide free and compulsory education to all the children in the age group 6 to 14 years now that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 has been passed and come into force w.e.f. 01.04.2010. It is submitted that despite all these legislations and assurances, the children of the masses are continued to be deprived of their right to quality education. The need of the hour is to inculcate an accountability system wherein anyone who disobeys the protocol laid down by the Act will be answerable.
We, therefore, most humbly request you to kindly take cognizance of these postcards and initiate appropriate proceedings against both the State Government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to redress the just, legal and bonafide grievances of the students of these schools relating to serious violations of their right to education.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
Friday, December 2, 2011
A Civil Rights Group
The Director of Education,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi,
Old Secretariat Building,
Sub: Govt. Schools deny admission to children in violation of RTE Act, 2009
In continuation of my phonogram dated 28.11.2011, it is brought to your notice that the Principal of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, D-Block, Jahangirpuri, Delhi has denied admission to 13 years old Km. Asmina Khatun, D/o Mohd. Ali Hasan, R/o C-546, Jahangirpuri, Delhi-110033 (Mob: 9990969465) in class VI in the academic year 2011-12.
It is also brought to your notice that the Principal of Kamla Nehru SKV, Jungpura, New Delhi has denied admission to Km. Shashi Pandey, Km. Meenakshi Pandey and Master Rajan Pandey, wards of Mrs.Shalini, R/o 49, Jungpura, Masjid Road, Bhogal, New Delhi in Classes KG, II and IV respectively in the academic year 2011-12. These children have lost their father. Compelled by the circumstance, their poor mother who is suffering with 40% disability on account of paralysis in her left leg has moved to Delhi in search of livelihood about six months ago. Luckily, she got the job of maid servant in a lawyer’s house at 49, Jungpura, Masjid Road, Bhogal, New Delhi where she is also staying with these children. She has even submitted written applications dated 18.11.2011 to the Principal of the school but instead of admissions to her children, she has received humiliation.
All the afore-mentioned children are below 14 years of age and wish to study in your schools in age appropriate classes in terms of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 but it is unfortunate that despite several attempts having been made by these children/parents, the afore-mentioned schools have refused admissions, without any justification.
It is also unfortunate that the concerned Deputy Directors of Education are also reluctant to help these hapless students to get them admitted in the schools. It would not be exaggeration to say that the Education Officials are responsible under the law to ensure that children are admitted in the schools.
It is, therefore, requested that you may personally look into this matter ensuring that all the afore-mentioned children are admitted in the aforesaid schools without any further delay.
Advisor – Social Jurist
Dinesh, 27 years old poor labourer was taken from Aligarh to Gwalior through sub-contractor to work for M/s Grower Constructions undertaking the work of construction at CRPF Camp, Gawalior sometimes in the third week of September 2011. On 05.10.2011, while he was working on the Mixer Machine, his right hand came in the machine and was crushed. No police report was lodged till date. The employer Shri Sanjiv Grower (M-9810054116, 7869571735), first took Dinesh to JA Groups Hospital at Gwalior the same day but the Hospital advised to take him to some other hospital. Thereafter, the employer took him next day to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Pusa Road, New Delhi where Dinesh was admitted as indoor patient vide registration no. 1005565. The employer deposited Rs.15000/- as initial deposit with the hospital and continued to pay the hospital’s bills till 24.11.2011. Dinesh was operated upon one after the other.
On 30.11.2011, the Hospital asked Shri Surinder, the father of the patient to pay a bill for over Rs.90,000/- saying that the employer has refused to pay any more money to the hospital. Shri Surinder is working as daily rated agricultural labourer at Aligarh and hardly earns Rs.100/- a day and that also depending upon the availability of work. Shri Surinder was perturbed to think that his young son would be discharged from the hospital for want of money as it was impossible for him to arrange any money. At this stage, he somehow came in contact with Advocate Ashok Agarwal through Advocate Umesh Singh (M-9871329898). Due to the intervention of Shri Ashok Agarwal, Ganga Ram Hospital has stopped asking the patient’s father to make payment of the hospital’s bills and they are continuing with the treatment of the patient.
However, the question remains that the employer has abandoned its employee in the mid-way. No police complaint was lodged till date nor has any payment on account of compensation been paid to the employee. Both employer and the principal employer (Government of India) are responsible for payment of compensation to the employee. Poor employee is the victim of the cruel and the corrupt system.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Shri Azad Singh working as Driver with Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation Limited (DTTCL) had filed petition in 1991 in Delhi High Court against removal from service on 26.06.1990. He was removed on the alleged charges that on 27.11.1987, he along with an outsider entered in the office of the management with a bottle of whisky and he started drinking there and misbehaved with the staff. Shri Azad Singh denied the correctness of the charges and claimed to have falsely implicated.
Justice M.L.Mehta accepting the arguments of petitioner’s Counsel Mr. Anuj Agarwal, that there was no positive and reliable evidence supporting the charges leveled against the petitioner and also that a reasonable opportunity to defend had not been afforded, quashed the removal order dated 26th June 1990.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Social Jurist writes to Union Health Minister for National Policy on Free Treatment in Pvt. Hospitals
Sri Gulam Nabi Azad
Union Minister of Health,
Government of India,
Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi-1
SUBJECT: Seeking formulation of a clear National Policy by the Central Government to ensure that all private hospitals across the country which have been provided government land at concessional rates in any part of the country should be directed to provide free medical treatment and free beds to the extent of 10% IPD and 25% OPD to poor patients on the lines of such free medical treatment and free beds having been facilitated to the poor by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in over 40 private hospitals which were provided concessional government land in the National Capital Territory of Delhi
This has reference to the submission of the learned Central Government Counsel before the Delhi High Court on 24/11/2011 that the government is in the process of formulating a policy for the National Capital Territory of Delhi with regard to providing free treatment and beds to poor patients in 42 private hospitals which were given government land at concessional rates for the purpose.
While dismissing the Special Leave Petitions of the 10 private hospitals, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in its landmark order dated 1 September 2011, had clearly stated that all hospitals which have been provided concessional government land are duty bound to provide 10% IPD and 25% OPD facilities free of cost to the poor patients. In view of the spirit of the Supreme Court order dated 1 September 2011, the Central Government should come out with an elaborate National Policy to facilitate similar free medical treatment and beds to the poor patients in all private hospitals across the country which have been provided concessional land in any part of the country.
It is submitted that public lands on concessional rates have been provided to charitable societies all over the country for running hospitals. However, barring Delhi, all the private hospitals in other States and Union Territories are not at all providing free medical treatment to the economically weaker sections, perhaps in the absence of clear policy decision by the Central Government. By not providing free treatment to the poor, these hospitals for the last four decades have not only violated the terms of the land allotments with impunity but have also cheated the people of this country.
If a clear National Policy is formulated by the Central Government with regard to providing free treatment to poor patients in private hospitals all over the country – while taking into consideration the spirit of the Supreme Court’s 1 September 2011 order – it will go a long way in ensuring that thousands of poor patients living across the country are immensely benefited and also saved from the undue harassment at the hands of the management and authorities of the private hospital which has been provided concessional government land.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Maharashtra Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 which has come into force from 11 October 2011 in Section 2 (r) has defined “Uniform” means a dress decided by the concerned school committee with due consideration to the expected norms of behavior and discipline, to be worn by students of the school. Such a definition of “Uniform” in the Rules, in my humble submission, is open to be exploited by communal minded element in the school committee.
Mail Today, New Delhi, November 10, 2011 has reported that a preposterous correlation between Jeans and rape cases has prompted some community leaders to advocate a regressive dress code for girls in Muzzaffarnagar district of U.P. The suggestion comes close on the heels of similar curbs that were slapped by a village khap in the district. The Brahmin Samaj of Muzaffarnagar believes that jeans must not be worn by girls. Over 50 members of the community held a meeting in the Fogana area on Tuesday evening and concluded that rape cases were on the rise because of this sartorial preference of the fairer sex.
It is submitted that Article 51-A of the Constitution of India which deals with Fundamental Duties of Citizens amongst others talks of developing the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. Section 29 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 which deals with Curriculum and Evaluation Procedure amongst others talks of making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety and helping the child to express views freely. It is therefore, submitted that the definition of “Uniform” given in the Maharashtra RTE Rules, 2011 goes against the letters and spirit of the Constitution and the RTE Act, 2009.
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The Court taking serious note of the deliberate delay in bringing notified rules, had on the last hearing directed Delhi Principal Secretary (Education) Mr. Rakesh Mohan to be personally present in the Court today. The Delhi Government Counsel has informed the Court that the final Rules have been approved by the Cabinet on 04.11.2011 and have been sent to the Lt. Governor of Delhi for assent on 08.11.2011 and would be notified within 3 weeks. Mr. Rakesh Mohan was also present in the Court. Disposing of the PIL, the Court noted that the notified rules were required for the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2011 and directed the Government to notify the rules in 3 weeks positively.
Friday, November 4, 2011
The Principal Secretary (Health)
Government of NCT of Delhi
I.P. Estate, New Delhi-110002
Sub: Free-Beds for EWS patients in Pvt. Hospitals – Need for wider publicity
While I fully appreciate the Delhi Government issuing detailed guidelines to private hospitals regarding free medical treatment to patients under the EWS category, I would like to point out that at present there is almost complete absence of information to EWS category patients about such free treatment available to them. Consequently, most beds reserved under this category continue to remain unoccupied in most private hospitals despite the existence of a large number of poor patients who are eligible for free medical treatment.
In order to create adequate public awareness on the issue and facilitate the EWS category patients to avail the free medical treatment in private hospitals ---- which has been made possible through the landmark judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court---- I would like to make the following suggestions to the Delhi Government:
i) The Delhi Government should immediately come out with prominently-displayed public service advertisements in all major newspapers, magazines and television channels of different languages detailing the names of hospitals where such free treatment is available as well as the number of beds available is each hospital.
ii) Such public service ads should also clearly mention the eligibility criteria for free treatment which includes the important fact which has been categorically states by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that a patient doesn’t have to furnish any documentary proof of his/her income or any other documents while availing the free treatment. And that s/he only needs to fill a declaration form starting that his/her monthly income is less that Rs. 6,422.00.
iii) Such public service ads should also clearly mention what all is available to the EWS patients under the EWS category so as to do away with the earlier misconception that they need to pay for the medicines, etc.
iv) Such public service ads should also include an easy to remember 24X7 Helpline Number (preferable a four digit one as allotted for other emergency services like CATS) where patients may call for inquiries as well as lodge complaints regarding erring hospitals.
v) Such public service ads should also state the provision regarding diversion of such patients from government hospitals.
vi) The above mentioned information should also be displayed prominently in major languages outside all the private hospital which provide free treatment as well as in all government-run hospitals.
vii) Members of the Monitoring Committee constituted by Delhi Govt. with names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. be displayed both in the private and government hospitals.
viii) The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Orders dated 22.03.2007 in Social Jurist PIL
were pleased to pass the directions: “We direct the Director General of Health Services, Union of India, as well as Director General Health Services Govt. of NCT of Delhi to constitute a Special Cell to comply with the directions of the Court including the receipt of various informations and money as directed in this judgment. Let this be done within two weeks from today.” It is submitted that the Special Cell as contemplated in the Orders has not been constituted till date. Kindly do the needful in this regard.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Member of the Monitoring Committee and Inspection Committee
violation of right to education of 329 MR children of Govt. run Home - Social Jurist writes to Delhi Chief Secretary
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
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The National Advisory Council (NAC) has recommended a blanket ban on child labour. Mr. Rajinder Puri, a writer and a veteran journalist and cartoonist by his write-up in Sunday Statesman 23 October 2011 has requested the NAC to reappraise its decision to impose ban on child labour. He argued, “In the era of Charles Dickens, there was child labour in Britain. With prosperity and eradication of acute poverty it is now banned. How far has acute poverty been removed in India? Should we not seriously consider radical reform of child labour before announcing an outright ban that cannot be implemented?” With due respect to our veteran journalist, I totally differ with this approach.
Supreme Court in 1993 while interpreting Article 21 (right to life with dignity) of the Constitution of India has declared right to education a fundamental right and the State will have no defense at all against this right in relation to the children upto the age of 14 years. In December 2002, Article 21-A has been inserted in the Constitution which mandates the State to provide free and compulsory education to all the children in the age group six to fourteen years in the manner as the State may by law determine.
In terms of this constitutional provision, all children have to be in school and not at work. We should appreciate that ‘compulsory education’ and ‘child labour’ cannot go together. After the insertion of Article 21-A in the Constitution, child labour upto the age of fourteen years in all its form has become unconstitutional. The Government is duty bound to amend Child Labour Act so to put blanket ban on child labour.
Parents have no moral or legal right to force children to work for the reason of poverty. On the other hand, Article 51-A (k) of the Constitution imposes a duty on the parents or guardians to provide opportunities to their wards in the age group six to fourteen year to attend school. Ordinarily, it would not be proper to blame the parents but if some parents are deliberately indulging in such illegal activity, that can not be appreciated or encouraged.
In the entire debate on the child labour, we normally overlook one thing i.e., the State’s obligation. It is the Constitutional obligation of the State to bring all the children upto the age of fourteen years in the full time mainstream school education system and provide them good quality education. If it happens, the entire child labour will disappear. Despite poverty, the State is capable enough to bring every child in school. However, the State is totally insensitive, corrupt and dishonest and has been deliberately abdicating its obligations.
Child labour is a National Shame and nobody can justify it. Need of the hour is to compel the State by all possible means to bring all the children in the mainstream school education system and to get rid of the child labour. The right place for every child is at school and not at work. Oppose child labour and Love India.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Today I have come to know that though the Education Department has so far identified over 36 children who could be admitted immediately and taught in the school but the Department of Social Welfare has refused to send these children to the next door mainstream govt school on a totally rubbish ground that they cannot take risk. There are other 150 or so children who could also be prepared in due course to join mainstream school. However, the Social Welfare Deptt which has no education facilities with them have actually made the mockery of right to education of these lesser god children by refusing to send them to next door mainstream govt school.
In these circumstances, the Social Jurist would take up the matter very soon with the Hon'ble Delhi High Court.
With placards in their hands, the protestors shouted slogans against the government and school authorities. The protestors led by social activist and national president of All India Parents Association, Mr Ashok Agarwal, thereafter met the Director of Education and apprised him of the blatant discrimination taking place in the school. Mr Agarwal also submitted a detailed memorandum in the matter and sought immediate action against the school in the matter.
According to Mr Agarwal, the school has increased the fees in the mid-session in the guise of Smart Class in clear violation of Section
17 of Delhi School Education Act, 1973 as the school has not obtained prior permission from DOE for increasing the fees. Moreover, when the parents objected to the illegal action of the school, the school resorted to discriminate their wards by separating their classes. Even 41 EWS students were not spared by the school as they were declined the facility of EDUCOMP as they were unable to meet the demand of the school. They were also unjustly separated by other students.
Narrating the humiliation, harassment and discrimination by the management and school authorities of St Lowrence Convent School, the children and their parents said they have been completely traumatized; and if no immediate action is taken to check it would leave a permanent scar on the innocent minds.
According to the memorandum submitted to the Director of Education, some glaring facts relating to the case are as follows:
(i) The school has implemented a new "Smart Class" program and is
charging Rs 400/- per month per student. And from 17.10.2011 onwards
school has divided (DISCRIMINATED) students as "EDUCOMP STUDENTS" and
"NON-EDUCOMP STUDENTS." Therefore, those students who have not paid
this "Smart Class" Charges are not allowed to sit with their
classmates for merely Rs. 400/. This is despite the fact that all
students have already paid their Quarterly Fee of approx. Rs. 8,500.
(ii) The school authorities have gone to the extent of dividing
(discriminating) non-educomp students’ classes in different rooms and
even teachers, sections and their classmates have been changed.
(iii) This sudden discriminatory change in the middle of the session
will not just make the children unable to concentrate in their studies
but will have a serious negative psychological impact on their
(iv) As many as 500-odd students have not paid this Smart Class Charges.
(v) This Educomp charge itself is on the higher side. The school has
Educomp as their Official Partner in this project. On the website of
Educomp it is clearly mentioned that Smart Class Charges are between
Rs 100-150 per student per month.
The memorandum further stated that the aforesaid action on the part of the school
tantamount to commercialization of Education. It is all greed on the
part of the school which has resulted in exploitation of hapless
parents/students. Apart from that, the same is in clear violation of
Section 17 of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,
2009 which prohibits physical punishment and mental harassment to
child. Moreover, the same amounts to cruelty to child and attracts
punishment under Section 23 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
of Children) Act, 2000. U.S. Supreme Court in
case of Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 283 (1954) where it has
been held that “separate education facilities are inherently unequal”
and thus, violate the doctrine of equality
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Agarwal Bhawan, G. T. Road,
Tis Hazari, Delhi - 54
Shri Diwan Chand
Director of Education,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi,
Old Secretariat, Delhi
SUB: Complaint regarding serious psychological violence on hundreds of innocent children studying in St. Lowrence Convent School by the school authorities in the guise of ‘’Smart Class’’
This is to bring to your urgent notice the shocking case of humiliation, harassment and discrimination of hundreds of innocent children by the management and school authorities of St Lowrence Convent School, Geeta Colony Faculty Centre, Delhi-51 in the pretext of "Smart Class" which has left the children studying in that school completely traumatized; and if no immediate action is taken to check it would leave a permanent scar on the innocent minds.
Some glaring facts relating to the case are as follows:
(i) The school has implemented a new "Smart Class" program and is charging Rs 400/- per month per student. And from 17.10.2011 onwards school has divided (DISCRIMINATED) students as "EDUCOMP STUDENTS" and "NON-EDUCOMP STUDENTS." Therefore, those students who have not paid this "Smart Class" Charges are not allowed to sit with their classmates for merely Rs. 400/. This is despite the fact that all students have already paid their Quarterly Fee of approx. Rs. 8,500.
(ii) The school authorities have gone to the extent of dividing (discriminating) non-educomp students’ classes in different rooms and even teachers, sections and their classmates have been changed.
(iii) This sudden discriminatory change in the middle of the session will not just make the children unable to concentrate in their studies but will have a serious negative psychological impact on their innocent minds.
(iv) As many as 500-odd students have not paid this Smart Class Charges.
(v) This Educomp charge itself is on the higher side. The school has Educomp as their Official Partner in this project. On the website of Educomp it is clearly mentioned that Smart Class Charges are between Rs 100-150 per student per month.
It is submitted that the aforesaid action on the part of the school tantamount to commercialization of Education. It is all greed on the part of the school which has resulted in exploitation of hapless parents/students. Apart from that, the same is in clear violation of Section 17 of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 which prohibits physical punishment and mental harassment to child. Moreover, the same amounts to cruelty to child and attracts punishment under Section 23 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
Your kind attention is invited to a judgment of U.S. Supreme Court in case of Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 283 (1954) where it has been held that “separate education facilities are inherently unequal” and thus, violate the doctrine of equality.
If immediate action is not taken against the school by the Directorate of Education to check this discrimination it would leave a permanent scar on the innocent minds and we will be left with no option but to hold a peaceful Protest Demonstration in front of your office on Monday 24 October 2011 at 4.00 p.m. for the well-being of our children.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR),
5th Foor, Chanderlok Building
Janpath, New Delhi-110001
SUB.: LOWERING THE DIGNITY OF THE CHILDREN – STOP BJP TO DISTRIBUTE UNIFORM & BAGS TO MCD SCHOOL STUDENTS BY THEIR LEADERS
It is brought to your notice that Hindustan Times, New Delhi dated 12 October 2011 has reported the following:-
“Revised grants for school children in MCD schools – With the election starting at its face, the BJP leaders of the MCD have decided that they will themselves distribute the uniform and bags grants that the MCD gives to its school students. The education committee has also introduced a new grant of Rs.310/- for uniforms for 48,000 children studying in its nursery schools. Earlier, only students of the primary schools were provided with Rs.500/- for their winter uniform.”
The distribution of essential items to the children in MCD schools is fine and laudable. Our serious objection is to the manner of distribution. The above reported news-item clearly spells out that the uniform and the bags would be distributed by the BJP leaders themselves in full public view. It would be used for political propaganda. In my respectful submission, such practice would not only derogatory to the dignity of the school children most of whom belong to lower strata of society but also tantamount to violation of human rights of these children. It would also violate the Delhi Government Order dated 28.02.2002 banning such practice.
It is submitted that the provisions of Articles 39 & 40 of U.N. Convention on the Rights of the child states that no degrading treatment could be meted out to children. It is submitted that the practice as adopted by the school is violative of these provisions of U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and hence there is immediate need to prohibit such practice. It is submitted that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi by not adhering to these provisions of U.N. Convention, committing violation of the provisions which they are bound to protect.
It is submitted that the majority of children who come to these schools are from lower strata of society and there is a need to adopt even more careful attitude towards these to instill in them the sense of pride and dignity. These children coming from poor families are deprived of many facilities, which children of rich enjoy. Hence, they suffer from sense of insecurity and if such practices are encouraged, their self-respect will be adversely affected and it would be very difficult to bring them at par with the rest of the society. Facilities of free education, food, shelter, writing material, uniform etc. to the children should be encouraged but not at the cost of their self respect and dignity. Even otherwise, the provisions of free education, food, books, bags, clothing etc. are made at the cost of national exchequer and there is no provision which allows these schools to use these facilities for their publicity benefits.
It is submitted that child receiving sweaters or books or other articles in public view is made to believe that she/he is being given such treatment solely because of their poverty and not as a matter of right. It is a clear-cut violation of human rights of students studying in State-run-schools. It is also submitted that psychological development of such a child is now being damaged. The child from the very beginning is condemned to a mere beggar; needless to say that this will cause a lot of inferiority complex in the mind of the child.
It is submitted that in the past also, it was the routine practice in Govt. /Municipal run schools that distribution of essential items to the children in government and MCD schools are mode of propaganda event by inviting some politician and/or some high government officials. That led me to raise the issue by lodging a formal complaint with the NHRC in January 2001.
It is submitted that the NHRC on 30.3.2001 after perusing my complaint directed “let the complaint be transmitted to Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi to look into the grievance and take such action as is appropriate in the circumstances.” Thereafter, the Govt. of Delhi, Directorate of Education issued an Order dated 28.2.2002 thereby banning the practice of distributing items to the students in schools in full public view and also banning inviting outside people/officers and making publicity.
It is therefore requested that appropriate steps may immediately be taken to stop the BJP leaders to get the uniform and school bags distributed by their leaders to the MCD schools students in full public view to use for political propaganda.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist,
I am fine and hope that you will be fine there.I went to school dated 26/9/11 again my class teacher did not allow me to enter the class room. My class teacher said me that you go to Virdi Mam room and give exam of subject Social Studies. My school
class teacher did not allow me school bus and said that you call your mother. I sit there apoxi. two hours All students and teachers had gone their homes by school buses. Only me and school office staff were in the school, My teacher warned me that tomorrow in the morning if you will catch the school bus I will not carry you.
Class: - VIII- D
School: - Guru Harkishan
India Gate New Delhi.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Agarwal Bhawan, G T Road, Tis Hazari, Delhi-110 054 Tel:9811101923,9717278279
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE PARTICIPATE IN MASS PROTEST RALLY AND DHARNA OUTSIDE RAJGHAT ON SUNDAY MORNING
NEW DELHI, 9 October: Thousands of people from all walks of life, which included a large number of women and children, took part in a mass rally and dharna outside Rajghat to protest against the arbitrary school fee hike in private schools in Delhi and other parts of the country.
The protest rally was organised by the All India Parents Association (AIPA), the apex parents body which was formed following the arbitrary fee hike undertaken by private schools on the pretext of the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations.
Speaking at the rally, social activist and AIPA national president, Mr Ashok Agarwal stressed the need to reform the school education in the country. Mr Agarwal sought the enactment of a Central law to regulate the fees and other charges in unaided private schools all across the country as well as a resolution by all the State Assemblies in support of the same.
There was also an urgent need to remove the disparities between various government schools, he said, and all government run schools should at least be brought to the level of Kendriya Viidyalayas (Central Schools).
The other demands of the All India Parents Association include the initiation of criminal proceedings against the 25 erring private school in the Capital who are inducted by the CAG recently.
The AIPA has also written a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh recently seeking an effective central law to check arbitrary fee hike in unaided private schools as well as for upgrading all government schools to the level of central schools.
Friday, September 16, 2011
The school’s allegation against all these four students was that they told their classmate that “if she married one Shanker Raman (a South Indian boy in their class), she will be busy making dosa and idli etc. Then they changed their opinion and told her that another classmate Rakhi Sahni ( a Punjabi boy) is best suited for her and then she will have a hard life making rotis. On girl’s complaint, the school said their comments were “abusive and vulgar”.
While the other three boys quietly accepted the TC and left the school, Mohan’s father Paramjit Singh challenged the expulsion and his lawyer Ashok Agarwal told Justice Kailash Gambhir that the “school clearly over-reached by taking the extreme step and ruining his career in the name of enforcing discipline”. He said even it was assured that the student used abusive language, the school, instead of ruining his career, should have given him counseling. Mr. Aggarwal also submitted that it was also in violation of the Delhi School Education Rules, which says disciplinary measures such as fine, expulsion or rustication cannot be taken against a student below 14 years.
Finding merit in the argument, Justice Gambhir by interim orders dated May 05, 2010 stayed the expulsion and directed the school to admit Mohan into Class IX.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
A DEBATE - Oxford Dictionary defines “Corruption” as Dishonest or Illegal behavior, especially of people in authority. This may be one angle to view “Corruption”. A section of people in the society may have amassed the entire wealth of the country legally leaving the majority to poverty. Is it not a “Corruption”? In my humble submission, “Corruption” needs to be seen and understood in terms of the Constitutional philosophy of ‘egalitarian society’. Article 38 of the Constitution mandates the State to strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations. Therefore, the guiding factors to track and to check the menace of “Corruption” must be none other than the Constitution of India.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I may be corrupt and not honest but still I have a right to fight against corruption. After all, I have inherited corruption from the Corrupt System prevalent in society. How can I alone be blamed for it? Shri Anna Hazare is no exception. At least my next generation will be benefited by my fight against corruption.
Don't forget my dear that the laws are made to benefit corrupt people. How can you fight corruption in terms of these laws? Now the Government is citing laws to frustrate the peaceful and non-violent movement by Shri Anna Hazare. ‘Emergency’ was also imposed in 1976 by law and sadly, the Supreme Court upheld the same.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Two male students aged 11 and 12 years of
Sunday, July 31, 2011
On visit to schools, finding physical conditions in poor shape and hygiene can fill one with anger. But when one sees how the children have become so conditioned to acting against their own best interests and instead are serving the interests of others – in fact they are serving the interests of the very people who are responsible for the poor state of their schools – then one becomes very depressed and despairing indeed.
The other day, on visit to
Is it not bad enough that the children have to put up with unhygienic toilets, holes in roofs and dirty classrooms, but why do they have to protect those who are responsible for this state of affairs – to the extent of turning against one of their own? Who has terrorized them so much? The teachers? In fact the teachers should unite with students to complain about their dirty classrooms. Why don’t they? Whose interests are the teachers serving? Are they terrorized too? Of whom? Why are they sacred to speak the truth? This subservient mentality, when will it go? We will rain blow on each other, we may even kill each other but we will fear to offend ‘the masters’. If this is the mind-set that the next generation is learning in our schools – will we ever be independent? Will things ever change?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Kumari Nahid has passed class VII from the
Saturday, July 16, 2011
GIRL STUDENT MOVES DELHI H C ON DENIAL OF ADMISSION IN CLASS XI BY DELHI GOVT SCHOOL - HEARING ON MONDAY 18.07.2011 - The petitioner who belongs to OBC category has submitted in the petition that the Delhi Government has been publicly making tall claims expressing seriousness about the education of the girls but the present case exposes the Government that they are in fact and reality rather insensitive to the education of the girls.
The petitioner also submitted in the petition that despite the fact that the Delhi Education Minister writing to the School Principal to consider the case of the petitioner for admission in Class XI, the School Principal has shown total disrespect and disregard to the directives having been given by its higher-ups. This further exposes the failure of the system in regard to the education of the children of the
Sunday, July 10, 2011
BREAKING NEWS - Just now, I have been informed by a social worker Joginder (9891917029) that Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Paschim Vihar,
Friday, July 8, 2011
In an unprecedented order, Delhi School Tribunal presided over by Mr. N. P. Kaushik punished Dr. M. Aslam Parvaiz, Manager, Cambridge Primary School, New Friends Colony with an imprisonment for a term of four weeks and pay fine to the extent of Rs.1000/-. The Judge has also issued a warrant of attachment of the bank account of the school to the extent of Rs.20 lacs.
The Tribunal has punished the School Manager as it has found that the orders dated 11.06.2005 setting aside compulsory retirement order of Sh. Kailash Chand Jain has been flouted by the school. “There is no reasonable excuse shown by the respondent school for non-compliance of the orders in question”, the Judge noted in its order dated 04.07.2011.
In this historical order, the Tribunal has for the first time exercised its powers under Section 27 of Delhi School Education Act, 1973 which makes a Manager of recognized private school liable to imprisonment and fine for omitting or failing, without any reasonable excuse, to carry out any orders made by the tribunal.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Shri Arvinder Singh Lovely,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi,
New Delhi – 110002
Sub: English subject denied and Sanskrit subject imposed
It has been brought to our notice by Kumari Keshwati D/o Suresh Chander Baghel R/o B-187, Galli No. 13, PH-10, Shiv Vihar K-Nagar, Delhi-94, (Ph no: 09718621614) that she has passed Class X CBSE Examination 2010-11 while studying in Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Gokulpur village, Delhi-94. A copy of mark sheet is enclosed hereto for your ready reference. A complaint of Kumari Keshwati addressed to the undersigned is also enclosed hereto.
Kumari Keshwati has complained that despite the fact that she has passed Class X Examination (Passed in English subject also), the school has denied her admission/promotion to Class XI in Humanities stream with English subject and compelling her to take Sanskrit instead of English. The student is very much mentally disturbed by such illegal and unjust action on the part of the school.
The case of Kumari Keshwati is not the only case in which the school has denied English subject and compelled the student to take Sanskrit subject, but almost all Government schools are doing the same thing causing great prejudice to these young students career. It is submitted that the schools by hook or by crook want to show the highest pass percentage even if it is done at the cost of the career and the life of the students. You will appreciate that Sanskrit has no utility whereas without English, it is almost impossible for a person to survive in this competitive world.
It is, therefore, requested that you may kindly look into this matter and take necessary action ensuring that the students are not unnecessarily harassed by the schools by denying them English subject in Humanities stream.
With regards,Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) illegally forcing 17 Class X passed students to leave the Vidyalaya
Shri Arvindar Singh Lovely
Government of NCT of
Sub: - Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) illegally forcing 17 Class X passed students to leave the Vidyalaya
It has been brought to our notice that Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV), Lajpat Nagar – II,
It is submitted that the said Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV), at Lajpat Nagar – II, has only 2 streams in class XI i.e. 1) Science and 2) Commerce. There is no Arts Stream available in the said RPVV. Therefore, all these students are legally entitled to admission in class XI in Commerce stream at least.
Your attention is invited to judgments of Hon’ble Supreme Court in cases of PRINCIPAL, CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL AND ANOTHER vs. PAYAL GUPTA (Ms) AND OTHERS [ (1995) 5 SCC 512 ] and PRINCIPAL, KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA AND OTHERS vs. SAURBH CHAUDHARY AND OTHERS [ (2009) 1 SCC 794].
It is submitted that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the aforementioned decisions have prohibited the school from turning down a student because he / she fails to get the cut-off level of marks for admission in class XI.
It is submitted that the cases of above stated students of Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) are squarely covered by the law laid down in the aforementioned judgments and they are entitled to be promoted/ admitted in class XI in commerce stream at least in the said Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV), Lajpat Nagar- II ,
You are therefore requested to kindly look into the matter and to do the needful ensuring that Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV), Lajpat Nagar – II instead of turning down these students out of the Vidyalaya, grant them admission in class XI in Commerce stream in the academic year 2011-12.
Advisor, Social Jurist