For the third consecutive year, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has failed to procure winter wear for children studying in its primary schools.
Instead, the civic body has proposed to Rs 125 to
each student for the purchase of jerseys, Rs 70 for shoes and Rs 20 for socks.
The move has drawn strong criticism. “Distribution of money to students is not worthwhile. The cash may not be utilised properly by their parents and ultimately it will be children who will suffer,” said a Khavinder Singh, a Congress councillor.
He said Rs 125 was not enough to purchase a jersey from retail stores but the civic body could have easily got a good deal while making bulk purchase.
MCD’s standing committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal defended the step and said that it was done to avoid corruption and ensure speedy arrangement of winter wear to the children.
The civic body runs 1,853 primary schools in the national Capital.
There are more than 10 lakh students and over 20,000 teachers in all these schools.
“While the civic body officials themselves wear layers of woolen clothes to withstand chilly weather, the poor children have to do without any. Every year, they delay the purchase and then distribute money that is too less and bears no accountability,” said Jai Kishan Sharma, leader of opposition, MCD.
Civic body officials, on the other hand, maintained that principals of the schools had been asked to monitor the distribution of clothes after consultation with the parent-teachers association.