A Punjab and Haryana high court bench on Thursday told the Punjab government to respond to a petition that schoolchildren in the state were being given inadequate amount for winter uniform.
The direction from the bench of justice SK Mittal and justice Shekher Dhawan came on a public-interest petition by an advocate HC Arora. It asks the director general of school education (DGSE) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development to reply by December 21.
The petitioner had stated that the HRD ministry was giving Rs 400 per eligible student to all states for the supply of winter uniform to girls, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe children, and students in the below poverty line category, up to Class 8; but by a December 7 letter, the DGSE had released only a fourth (Rs 100 per eligible student) of the sanctioned amount. He claimed that only Rs 16 crore had been issued and Rs 48 crore withheld by the government.
“With this Rs 100, every girl is expected to buy salwar/kameez, dupatta, socks, shoes and sweater; and each boy is expected to get a pair of trousers, shirt, sweater, patka/cap, socks and shoes,” Arora submitted, adding that the amount was “inadequate” for all these items.