Students of school set up by Gandhi in Bihar’s Bettiah sit on hunger strike
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Students of school set up by Gandhi in Bihar’s Bettiah sit on hunger strike

The three-point charter of demands of students include status of government school, stipend and other benefits like bicycles for them. 

patna Updated: Jan 31, 2019 09:14 IST
Sandeep Bhaskar
Sandeep Bhaskar
Hindustan Times, Bettiah
student hunger strike,bettiah school strike
One of the girls fainted during the hunger strike(Hindustan Times)

Students of Kasturba Kanya Uchch Vidalaya, set up in memory of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife’s stay at Bhitiharwa, on Wednesday observed a day-long fast and threatened to launch a fast unto death if their demands were not met.

The 400-odd students have been seeking a government school status for their school, which was set up on October 2, 1986, at the plot where Gandhi and his wife stayed at Bhitiharwa in Gaunaha block of West Champaran district.

At present, the school does not charge any fee from students, running on voluntary contributions from local residents.

The three-point charter of demands of students include status of government school, stipend and other benefits like bicycles for them.

“Our rights and demands have remained ignored. We will be forced to undertake a fast unto death from Gandhi Jayanti (October 2),” said Kaushiki Kumari, “prime minister” of Bal Sansad held at the school.

“We wrote an open letter to the chief minister, but nothing came out of it,” said Bal Sansad’s “deputy prime minister” Khushi Kumari Sharma.

During the symbolic fast on Wednesday, one of the students, Arti Kumari of class XI, fell unconscious and was taken to a local hospital.

The school was set up on two acres of land donated by the local people to state government in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi’s stay at Bhitiharwa in 1917, where they set up a school.

The school, having about 400 girl students and 22 teachers, holds classes up to the intermediate level.

“Around 80 per cent of our students are from schedule caste or schedule tribe category. This is the only educational institution for girls in a radius of 17 kms,” said Dipendra Bajpayee, the headmaster.

“But we do not have recognition from government to fill matriculation or intermediate examination forms from our school. We demand that our school be taken over by the government,” Bajpayee said.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 09:14 IST