A circular issued by the Chandrababu Naidu government asking all school students and teachers in Andhra Pradesh to contribute Rs 10 each towards building the new capital Amaravati is drawing flak from the opposition parties, teacher unions and child rights activists.
“No wrong in seeking donations from the public, especially when the government claims to be financially weak. But this initiative is insincere on part of Naidu as he is splurging hundreds of crores of rupees on his offices, residences in Hyderabad and Vijayawada, using special flights to travel. He also spent Rs 100 crore for Amaravati foundation ceremony,” said Ambati Rambabu, YSRCP central executive member and spokesperson.
Child rights activists and teachers’ unions are also finding fault with the order.
“This is a violation of right to education act,” said Anuradha Rao, president of Andhra Pradesh Balala Hakkula Sangham.
“The teacher unions are also opposed to this collection. There are many kids in our school for whom paying even Rs 10 is a difficulty,” said a government school teacher in Kurnool district.
The Hyderabad High Court too is said to have disapproved the order. “Reviewing our petition on Wednesday, the high court expressed anger over the government circular and questioned its validity,” said Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy, YSRCP legal cell president.
Naidu has been calling Amaravati a people’s capital and has been seeking generous contributions from the public.
He launched an initiative — My Capital, My Amaravati, My Brick — under which people can buy a brick online for Rs 10 and the proceeds of which would be added to the fund for building Amravati.
“This will bring a sense of ownership (among people),” Naidu had said. Some Rs 6 crore have been generated till now.
On Monday, the state through a notice from the commissioner of school education asked for the Rs 10 contribution Since this contribution is not voluntary, the government is expected to raise about Rs 7.5 crore through this scheme, which it calls “MOST URGENT” on the document, a copy of which is with HT. The notice reads, “The collected amount should reach the school education commissioner by January 10.”