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Bombay high court pulls up Maharashtra government over ‘pitiable’ state of tribal schools

Mumbai city news: The bench directed the state to file within three weeks a compliance report

mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2017 01:11 IST
Ayesha Arvind
Ayesha Arvind
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Bombay high court,Maharashtra
The bench termed the condition of such schools “pitiable” and “ridiculous”.

The Bombay high court on Friday criticised the Maharashtra government for its apathy towards students in its ashram (residential) schools in tribal areas.

Terming the condition of such schools “pitiable” and “ridiculous”, a bench of justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav said that the state had wasted time by constituting one committee after another but and had taken no steps to improve the infrastructure and facilities of these schools.

The bench directed the secretary of the state tribal welfare department to file within three weeks a compliance report, including remedial measures, to improve the conditions of ashram schools in Maharashtra.

It directed the state to provide basic facilities such as clean drinking water, mattresses, healthcare, toilets etc.

These schools, meant primarily for children from tribal areas in the state, battle neglect and government apathy.

The direction came while the bench was hearing a public interest litigation claiming that 793 children had died over the past 10 years in various ashram schools. The reasons for these deaths ranged from snake bites to fevers to other illnesses.

“This is really ridiculous. The state government is obligated to provide basic facilities. It is the government’s duty and responsibility. Except passing hollow resolutions, the government has done little to improve the condition,” the bench said.

“Immediate action must be taken to provide basic facilities such as clean and adequate number of toilets, drinking water facility, medical treatment, beddings and mattresses in hostels etc. The government must also appoint a female warden in each school that has girl students,” the bench said. The high court is likely to hear the matter on August 11.

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 01:10 IST