The well-meant initiative of the Chandigarh education department to open bank accounts for the over 1 lakh students of Classes nursery to 8 by March 31 has led to sheer mess.
In a recent move, the education department had decided to deposit money for school uniforms in the accounts of the students so that they did not remain at the receiving end due to delay in getting uniforms like last year.
The department also decided to extend the scheme to nursery class.
However, banks that were given the charge to open the accounts are facing the heat as they are finding it almost impossible to implement the arrangement on time as they are heading towards the close of the current financial year, which ends on the same date.
Moreover, a huge ruckus was witnessed on Thursday in a few banks as a large number of students accompanied by their parents were seen in the banks for opening accounts.
Notably, two years ago the education department had issued directions for opening of bank accounts for students from Classes 1 to 8. Since then, accounts of almost 50% students have been opened.
However, officers say most of the account holders either did not use their accounts or have misplaced their documents which have rendered the accounts defunct, compelling them to visit the banks again.
Ravi Shankar Kumar, branch manager of the State Bank of Patiala, Sector 10, expressed his inconvenience thus: “We have to complete our bank work for the ongoing financial year by March 31. There are thousands of students studying in GMSSS, Sector 10, and nearby schools which means it is not easy for us to complete the task though we are trying hard as we want the best for the children.”
Kumar said the schools should have instead called the bank staff to the school premises and the bank would have been more than happy to send their staff so that the bank work did not suffer and students would also not have to miss school.
“Schools should not depend on a single nationalised bank. They can also contact few more neighbouring banks in order to divide the responsibility as it is the closing of the financial year,” said Kumar.
Reacting on the situation DPI (schools), Kamlesh Kumar said that he never asked schools to send the students to the banks. “I want the best for the students and thus I directed the schools to call the bank teams in the schools to open the accounts. I would personally talk to the school heads and principals regarding this.”