Three-year-old Swaraj does not have a father. It does not follow that he should not have an education either, but his local anganwadi is not ready to accept him as long as his mother fails to fill up the blank in the school form.
Swaraj was born when his mother was 17, after the man who promised to marry her vanished from her life. Today, 23-year-old Sharavan Jadhav, a labourer, is not even ready to admit the child is his.
Determined to get her child his dues, his mother began legal proceedings when she attained majority. But while investigation in the case goes on, the “illegitimate” tag sticks to Swaraj.
Under the Right to Education Act, every child is entitled to an education and the Karnataka government is serious about implementing the Act. But the message, obviously, has not travelled the 670 km that lie between Bangalore and the anganwadi of Chitta K village in Bidar district.
“The anganwadi has denied admission to my son Swaraj,” the woman said. “Due to legal reasons, I’m not in a position to mention the name of his father in the admission form.”
The child development project officer of Basavakalyan, Jagannath Gada, said no anganwadi can reject a child for such a reason.