Bank makes girl repay father’s debt | india | Hindustan Times
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Bank makes girl repay father’s debt

A co-operative bank recovered a loan from the scholarship of a poor Dalit girl student as her father had failed to repay the amount, reports Ejaz Kaiser.

india Updated: May 04, 2007 04:37 IST

A co-operative bank recovered a loan from the scholarship of a poor Dalit girl student as her father had failed to repay the amount.

A poverty-ridden farm labourer Iswar Dash of village Dudhiya in Durg district took a loan from a local co-operative bank in 2003 under ‘Income Generation Programme’ — a scheme launched for the benefit of the scheduled castes — but could not repay it on time. His daughter Sahodra, a Class VIII student, is a recipient of a Chhattisgarh government scholarship.

The scholarship money — Rs 1,150 annually — was expected to be disbursed to Sahodra by the bank from where her father took the loan. But she has not received a single penny of her scholarship so far as the bank has been adjusting the amount against her father’s loan since 2005.

The Durg collector Subrata Sahu told the Hindustan Times that an inquiry had been ordered after the issue was brought to his notice. “This practice is unlawful. The bank has no right to claim the loan amount in such a manner,” he said. He had an unconfirmed report that the manager of the bank had been suspended by the management.

The Chhattisgarh Human Rights Commission (CGHRC), on a complaint filed by the Forum for Fact-Finding Documentation and Advocacy (FFDA), has issued notice to Durg district administration to report on the issue. The commission has also sought explanation from the bank. The FFDA director Subash Mohapatra said that the girl’s father approached his organisation when the bank refused to release the scholarship.

The FFDA claimed that the incident was not an isolated case as more students were losing their scholarship money to banks to repay loans taken by their parents. Terming the loan recovery approach of the bank as wrong and discriminatory, Mohapatra said, “What right does the bank have to siphon off the scholarship money given specifically for educational purposes?”