HC notice to state on poor fate of 'Ashramshalas'
NAGPUR: Taking serious cognizance of a letter about the pathetic condition of tribal 'Ashram Shalas' or residential schools, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court issued a notice to the Maharashtra government while asking it to file an affidavit. The letter was written by tribal activist Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) and was treated as public interest litigation (PIL) by the court. The judges also asked Tiwari to submit his claims mentioned in the letter on an affidavit.
Tiwari had directly written to the court that despite the Maharashtra government spending money on tribal schools, the facilities provided by managements are very bad. Though a lot of purchases are made on paper to create requisite facilities, the ground reality is that tribal students are denied even basic needs like food, uniforms, blankets or even toilets for girl students, he alleged.
Tiwari, with a fact-finding team, had visited more than 29 such tribal schools in Vidarbha, run by private parties including MLAs and MPs, where they saw pitiable conditions of such schools. He apprised the court of shocking incidents, such as sexual exploitation of tribal girls by school staff, deaths of children due to unavailability of medical treatment, and supply of adulterated food grains to tribal schools.
However, even after a court order, the government failed to take any action against the managements of these tribal schools, he claimed.
""We will demand of scrapping these tribal schools in remote forest areas so that all students could be accommodated in hostels near talukas where they could be educated along with mainstream students. This will also save costs and be a result oriented solution, instead of tribal schools which have been earning politicians crores," he said.