A citizens’ campaign to ensure more student enrollment in civic schools, conducted across the city, has managed to induct more than 300 students.
Hindustan Times had first reported the campaign on June 19.
The drive also brought to light, the malfunctioning in civic schools. Bandra resdient Aftab Siddiqui, who is a member of the drive, said: “We realised that most teachers had to compulsorily conduct such drives every summer. However, that has almost never happened. Many civic schools also charge fees, which they aren’t supposed to. This ends up discouraging a lot of students.”
Activist Nitin Wadhwani, said: “The most important revelation was that there is no awareness about the benefits a child in a BMC-school gets. Not even parents whose children were already studying in civic schools knew about these.”
The activists have approached Additional Municipal Commissioner A.K. Singh.
Singh said: “I am not aware of any school that would charge any student a single rupee. However, if any specific instance is brought to my notice, I will ensure strict action is taken against those responsible.”
The drive was conducted by Mumbaiites for Child Rights (M4CR), an organisation of independent activists across the city working for child issues.
The drive involved visiting three areas across the city - Chembur, Santacruz (E) and Bandra (W) and making parents and children aware of the benefits that await a child enrolled in a civic school.
Among other things, every child in a BMC-run school is covered by a health insurance scheme and gets a kit of 27 items such as uniform, shoes and schoolbag from the civic body, for free.
Siddiqui said the drive would be conducted every Sunday for a few more weeks.