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No funds to secure schools: Mayor

Soon after the Ashok Vihar MCD primary school rape incident, Mayor Arti Mehra said the MCD did not have the staff, funds or employees to secure its schools, HT reports.
By HT Correspondent HT Correspondent | None, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 18, 2008 01:41 AM IST

Soon after the Ashok Vihar MCD primary school rape incident, Mayor Arti Mehra said the Delhi Police failed to keep the city safe, but also added MCD did not have the staff or funds to secure its schools. “We have a shortage of Class IV employees. An enquiry is being conducted and action will be initiated against MCD officials if any lapse is found on their part,” Mehra said.

MCD Commissioner KS Mehra has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the incident.

Safety of children in MCD schools, especially girls, has been a cause of worry for parents. “Parents might think twice before sending their kids to school. I never thought my daughter is not safe in school. Whom should I blame for this –– the school management, the police, the criminals or my fate?” said the father of the rape victim.

MCD schools get students from underprivileged backgrounds and such incidents may discourage parents from sending girls to school. Figures show nearly 9 per cent students drop out of schools. There are 1,751 MCD schools in the Capital with more than nine lakh students.

“There have been many cases of molestation in the past but school authorities have been suppressing the issue,” said Dharmender, an ex student of MC Primary school.

Soon after the incident, angry parents gheraoed the school building and shouted slogans against school headmistress Neelam Brij.

“The Ashok Vihar school officials had requested area police to increase patrolling but it did not materialise”, said Subhash Arya.

There have been many cases of molestation in MCD schools in the past. Six girls of MCD school in Sultanpuri had complained their teacher had molested them. In Pushp Vihar area, a principal was accused of assaulting girl students. In an MCD school in Jaffarpur, parents had written to the MCD complaining a schoolteacher had been molesting schoolgirls.

The MCD has now decided to spend Rs 300 crore to construct 300 semi-pucca, shedded and tented schools with boundary walls and grills.

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