UP government school students’ tattered shoes replaced in Lucknow | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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UP government school students’ tattered shoes replaced in Lucknow

Students of the UP government-run primary school in Jiamau are a contented lot once more, as their worn out shoes have been replaced with new ones.

lucknow Updated: Apr 24, 2018 12:26 IST
Rajeev Mullick
The Yogi government had spent Rs 266 crore in distributing a free pair of shoes and socks to all 1.54 crore government-run primary and upper primary students.
The Yogi government had spent Rs 266 crore in distributing a free pair of shoes and socks to all 1.54 crore government-run primary and upper primary students.(HT Photo)

Students of the UP government-run primary school in Jiamau here are a contented lot once more, as their worn out shoes have been replaced with new ones.

“All 15,896 worn out pairs of shoes in Lucknow were replaced by April 20,” said Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Praveen Mani Tripathi here on Monday.

The Yogi government had spent Rs 266 crore in distributing a free pair of shoes and socks to all 1.54 crore government-run primary and upper primary students. The shoes were distributed around Diwali last year. But by Holi, soles of lakhs of pairs of shoes were ripped open.

In a front page report, ‘With shoes worth Rs 266 cr in tatters, UP kids walk ‘barefoot’ to schools’ on March 28, Hindustan Times had highlighted how students were using rubber bands to piece together the gifted pair of shoes.

In an official statement, the state basic education department had admitted that out of 1,72,113 pair of shoes distributed to the children in government-run primary and upper primary schools in Lucknow, approximately 15,000 shoes were found to be damaged.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court had taken suo moto cognizance of the Hindustan Times report. Justices Vikram Nath and Abdul Moin had taken the issue as a PIL and had directed the basic education department to table before it the complete records pertaining to the process followed in purchase of shoes for 1.54 crore primary and upper primary students all over the state.

The government in its reply to HC on April 20 had said only seven lakh out of 1.54 crore (4.5%) pair of shoes bought for free distribution among primary schools kids were found to be of poor quality.

“These too (poor quality shoes) are being replaced in all Uttar Pradesh districts, including Lucknow,” said Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh, director, basic education department, when he appeared before the court with an affidavit by secretary, basic education, Manisha Trighatia.

Hindustan Times had carried out a reality check in Lucknow, Allahabad and Meerut where several school children from across the state said it was painful to come to school almost barefoot in this hot weather.

“We are astonished on reading the said news item inasmuch as it appears that the noble cause of the government of distribution of shoes and socks to 1.54 crore students at a cost of Rs.266 crores has been completely defeated on account of the abysmal quality of the shoes. And it thus appears that everything is not fine with the quality of shoes that have been purchased for being distributed to the school going children,” the high court said in its March 28 order.