Bombay HC comes to rescue of girls who row boat across Koyna dam to reach school

MUMBAI: Moved by the plight of school girls from a village in Satara having to row a boat across Koyna dam to reach their school, the Bombay high court has directed the state government to take measures to provide all possible assistance to make their journey less adventurous
The girl students of Khirvandi village of Satara district undertake a journey by boat across the Koyna dam to reach their school. (File/PTI)
The girl students of Khirvandi village of Satara district undertake a journey by boat across the Koyna dam to reach their school. (File/PTI)
Published on Feb 01, 2022 06:21 PM IST
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ByK A Y Dodhiya

MUMBAI: Moved by the plight of school girls from a village in Satara having to row a boat across Koyna dam to reach their school, the Bombay high court has directed the state government to take measures to provide all possible assistance to make their journey less adventurous.

The division bench of justices Prasanna Varale and Anil Kilor took suo motu cognizance of the news report highlighting the plight of the girls and instituted a suo motu public interest litigation to address the issue faced by the children in general and girls in particular of Khirvandi village in Javali taluka of Satara district.

Referring to the news item which caught its attention, the bench said, “The news item refers to the daily routine of girl children wherein the girl students have to undertake a journey by boat to reach the school. The school starts at 09.00 am. It also refers to a shocking reality that a small boat is being plied by the girl students themselves.” The court also referred to the report which stated that apart from crossing the Koyna dam, the students had to walk four kilometers through dense forest inhabited by wild animals like tigers and bears, etc.

In light of the revelations made in the news report, which stated that though most schools in the state were shut due to the pandemic the children from the Khirvandi village continued to make the daily journey throughout the pandemic, the bench observed, “We are short of words to express the suffering and plight of the students in general and girls in particular. Considering the situation reflected in the news item, we state that on one hand the adversities being faced by the girl children, and on the other hand, there is courage, will and strong determination of these students to pursue academic career.”

The bench further added that the state could also achieve the goals of providing safe passage and a friendly atmosphere and environment for the girl children under the project “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao,” by taking all measures to provide necessary assistance to the children.

While lauding the courage and will of the girl children, the bench reminisced the words of a Marathi poem “Amhi Savitrichya Leki” (We are daughters of Savitribai Phule) and appreciated the same.

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Thursday, June 30, 2022