Chandigarh

RTE out of reach for the poor children in modern city of Chandigarh

Y.S.Rana | July 11, 2019 05:54 PM

CHANDIARH: When Monsoon in Chandigarh has its own flavor and romance for many that touches all our senses but for Jinterder it is a test for his dream house a “Jhugi.” All huddled on the cot thinking about the future of his four children. After nine years of its implementation, it is time to analyse if the RTE Act has managed to achieve its goal. It legally makes the Administration responsible to ensure elementary education to children between six and 14 years free and compulsory education. There is also a provision to provide 25 per cent reservation for students of weaker section in private schools.

The success story fizzles out when one comes across scores of such children begging along with their parents all across the city unaware of RTE. For them it is like a waste paper to sell for a few coins and initial enthusiasm of Chandigarh Administration did not last long.  

Jitender Dass said that he pulled a rickshaw in Bihar and in 2015 world dashed to ground when he met an accident. He was shifted to Chandigarh for further treatment at PGI. Injury to his backbone proved to serious and his body below the waist has been paralytic. A doctor has provided him a wheel chair and a belt but he could not stand on his feet again.

He adopted begging as source of income to sustain his family.  Mohinder Kaur, who was a para legal volunteer met him and she got completed his documents for disabled pension after visiting his Jhiugi and various administration offices in her car. Even she took him in her car to present him before the officials.. With great effort she succeeded and he was sanctioned a pension of Rs 2000 per month.  Things have now improved to some extend for the family. Even pension disbursing bank refuses to issue him ATM card because he is not too literate to sign.  

While talking to Mohinder Kour she told the Daily Post that she had also taken up the case of admission to his children in government school under RTE.  She met the principal of a government school nearby but the school refused admission in absence of birth certificates. In the meantime, she left as PLV due to some domestic exigencies. There was no one who could take up the matter. She further revealed that there were scores of children roaming across the city those could not  go to school due to formalities and how a father who was on wheel chair could able to complete the formalities who hoped that his children could get education, raised a big question over RTE Act.

While talking to the official of the education department said that in absence of birth certificate, a certificate from the office of the SDM was acceptable.

The official numbers of out-of-school children in the city are either out of date or contradictory. According to official data the numbers of out-of-school children in the age group of 6-17 are around 2000. However, as per an NGO the number could be more than 5000. It is a matter of serious concern, nearly 10 years of the enactment of the RTE Act, numbers of such children are recording an increase, says an official of the education department. The important reason for this is socio-economic conditions of the parents. It calls for a more social responsibility of education and social welfare department.   

True if there are people who consider disability as a ‘mistake’ of God, but there are some in the society who consider disabled as the ‘power’ of God those worked tirelessly to rectify the things which God could not do so. Person who disables permanently physically finds himself in a bewilder world to overcome his limitations.

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