Despite all rhetoric, toilets don’t exist in many government schools and even where they do, they are either locked or in pathetic condition. Worse still, safe drinking water is still not available in many schools, cattle and students share space on school premises while lack of teaching staff hampers quality education.
These harsh realities were brought to fore by a group of young law students, who went to various districts as interns of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) to collect data related to government schemes for children.
Nearly 120 interns - most of them law students from various colleges across Uttar Pradesh were out in 17 districts for 18 days.
Hifza Hasan, an intern who went to Azamgarh for a status check of shelter homes and government schemes, said: “There are no shelter homes for children. A government shelter home for boys closed down in January while in a shelter home for girls, there was only one minor girl living with all male staff around. There was no guard at the home located near a hotel.”
The interns apprised the administration and police about the condition of shelter home.
Raghvendra Pratap Singh, an intern who went to Barabanki to check the ground realities, said: “There are government schools in remote areas where teachers don’t reach. The buildings of Anganwadi centres are dilapidated and extremely old. The condition of school building is so bad that at some places that the classes are conducted in the open to prevent accident.”
Juhie Singh, chairperson, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said: “We are compiling the data collected by the interns. Action would be taken against all those who have not been doing their duties well and have been disturbing t he implementation of child rights programmes and policies.”