Her eyes are filled with dreams of future when she walks to school; she is as adorable as any other girl studying in a private school; but she isn't as blessed as the latter. Her uniform is old and mucky, her hairs are messy and she wears a withered 'chappal' instead of a pair of shoes - Muskaan from Government High School at Mehlanwala village is being looked after by her grandmother, living in the same village, since the death of her mother.
"My father works in Jalandhar and sends money for our living. I was admitted at a government-aided school, knowing that the government will provide me all facilities, including a tidy uniform, but that's not the reality. I wear a chappal to the school, because the shoe which the school provides does not even last for two months," said Muskaan.
Vikram, another Class 7 student, said: "The principal of our school left in July, but even after a month no principal was appointed. In the absence of a principal, there is no one to head the school management committee (SMC) and utilise the funds, which are e-transferred."
This reality check is done by an HT team in nearby villages of Amritsar, where students blame the school authorities for not providing them uniforms.
Commenting on the issue, in charge of Government High School, Mehlanwala, Jatinder Singh Shina said: "The Center has allocated funds for this purpose, but we are yet to receive it. In the absence of a principal I am in charge here, but unfortunately there is no SMC, which is authorised to sanction funds in our school. I know students are suffering, but I am helpless."
"The SMC comprises representatives from villages, parents of the students, students, retired teachers, schoolteachers etc. But our plight is that we neither have efficient teachers nor many parents of schoolchildren are educated and aware of the SMC meetings. Now, I will knock every door to create awareness among the parents. Development of teacher-parent relationship will solve the problems in rural areas," Shina added.