After HT report, help pours in for Mumbai rape survivor who was denied RTE seat
Mumbai city news: HT reported that the Class 2 student might drop out from school because she is unable to afford her feesmumbai Updated: May 22, 2017 08:33 IST
Help is pouring in for the seven-year-old rape survivor and security guard’s daughter, who was denied a seat in the Right to Education (RTE) quota, which offers free education from class 1 to 8 for students from economically and socially weaker sections, on a technicality — she missed the application deadline by a few days.
Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday that the Class 2 student might drop out from school because she is unable to afford her fees and the education department is unwilling to accept her in the quota. Following this, many non-government organisations (NGOs) and citizens are now volunteering to assist the child by sponsoring her education.
A Facebook page — Bringing Change Through RTE — has been created by two entrepreneur sisters, Simi Prasad and Sanjita Srivastava, who are struggling to get the girl admitted to the RTE seat. Several people are reaching out to them through this platform.
“After the story was published in HT, many people have contacted us. We are overwhelmed by the response. They want to help the child by paying her tuition fees or other accessories that she might need for school,” said Prasad.The sisters are asking those interested in contributing for the cause to directly contact the school.
Last year, the sisters enrolled the girl in a private school at Andheri after she was brutally and repeatedly assaulted sexually by a family member. Following the incident in 2015, she had dropped out of another school. The sisters had noticed her playing near their office complex where her father was employed as a security guard. On learning of her trauma, they volunteered to admit her to school, but missed the deadline for the RTE quota admissions by a few days.
An Andheri school took her in the regular category, charging annual fees of Rs40,000 and later sought to transfer her to the quota under which they had vacant seats. But the education department refused to accept the transfer, said school authorities.
For its part, the education department is willing to put the child in touch with more NGOs, but refuses to consider her for the quota, despite 13,000 vacant seats. “We understand the girl’s plight, but according to our rules, we can only fill these seats through online admissions,” said Prakash Charrate, deputy education officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). He said the BMC will try to find NGOs ready to give her financial assistance.
Disappointed with the flawed RTE admission process, Prasad said they are planning to file a PIL in the Bombay high court against the dilution of the act. “The RTE entitles economically and socially weaker sections to free education from classes 1 to 8, but the department’s skewed up implementation is depriving students of their right,” said Srivastava. “We are collecting signatures for an online petition to rectify the implementation of the RTE Act,” she said.