Around 80 girl students of Gothera Tappa Dahena village in Rewari’s Khol block have stopped going to school and are sitting on a hunger strike since Wednesday, demanding the upgrade of the village high school to senior secondary school.
The girls, all students of Class 11 and 12, say that they have to go to school in Kanwali, three kilometres from the village, and routinely face harassment from local boys on the way.
The girls said they complained to the sarpanch, who took the matter with authorities, but to no avail, so they have taken the matter in their own hands. On Friday, health of four girls deteriorated and they had to be shifted to hospital.
“They face problem related to conveyance and street harassment. They have to walk 3 km to go to school. Men wearing helmets on their bikes molest them regularly and get away as their identities remain concealed,” village sarpanch Suresh Chauhan said.
District education officer (DEO) Dharamvir Balodia said the girls were being misled by the sarpanch and their parents. “There are certain norms that need to be fulfilled before a school is upgraded. The high school in their village has around 150 students that is too less,” the DEO said.
SP Sangeeta Kalia said she personally asked girl students but no one complained of molestation or harassment. “No complaint was ever made to us either. I have tried to talk to them and have assured their demands will be discussed with higher authorities,” she said.
Last year in the same district, girl students of two villages had stopped going school with similar problem after a girl was allegedly raped on way to school in another village.