In the first notice to a government under the sunshine law, Right To Education (RTE), the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights have asked the Delhi government to explain why street children in the city are not being provided minimum ‘basic education’.
The notice is based on a complaint filed by a social group, Social Jurists, that identified 234 street children in the northern Delhi area of Azadpur and Jahangirpuri who are not getting education. The organisation’s stand is that there is no scheme in Delhi to provide education to street children even though the government has funds for the purpose.
“It is a violation of the basic right of the child to education provided in the RTE law notified in August this year,” said Amod Kanth, chairperson of DCPCR. “Under education guarantee scheme of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) it is the duty of the government to provide a child an avenue to get education.”
SSA provides funds for alternative modes of education to children who cannot take admission in formal schools.
Delhi has about 3.5 lakh out-of-school children, who live either on the streets or work in unorganised sector. About 4 crore children in the city live on streets and are not covered under any formal or informal form of education. Even HRD minister Kapil Sibal had admitted that providing them education was a big challenge under RTE.
DCPCR issued a notice to Secretary, Education of Delhi Government and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, seeking reasons why these children were not getting education. The law provides for free and compulsory education up to Class 8 to all children in the age group 06-14 years.
Kanth said the notice is aimed at highlighting the plight of children who are not getting basic education to sustain themselves.