While Raghav Khattar's friends share their experiences about the first few days of school, the three-year-old only listens. He was denied admission to nursery class on grounds of being a third child.
His two elder siblings — a sister in Class 10 and brother in Class 5 — study in Delhi Public School (DPS), Mathura Road. So when he was to be admitted to nursery, his parents expected the process to be smooth.
"We wanted all the three children to study in the same school. But we were told that our son cannot be granted admission since he is the third child and they only award sibling points to the second child," said BB Khattar, father of the three-year old.
MI Hussain, the school principal, said, "As per our school policy, we encourage smaller families, so we decided that only one sibling will be awarded points."
Besides sibling, Raghav met the neighbourhood and alumni criteria as well but this wasn't enough to get a seat in the school.
Raghav's parents have written to government officials including chief minister Shiela Dikshit but it has not helped. "We are forced to keep him at home since the admission process is over. We have even suggested to the school that we will transfer our daughter to a different school after class 10 so that our son gets the sibling points next year," said the child's father.
Though the directorate of education allows schools to decide their own criteria, principals of other city schools said such a policy was unfair.
"A child cannot be discriminated upon on the grounds of being a third sibling. We get many cases like this and we do award points to them," said Ameeta Wattal, principal, Springdales School, Pusa Road.
The other branches of DPS — Vasant Kunj and Rohini — also said that they, too, award points to more than one sibling. "A sibling is a sibling. How can we deny points to a child just because he happens to be the third child? We have many such children and they have been awarded points," said Rita Sen, principal of DPS, Rohini.