Students left in the cold as Punjab govt fails to give money for winter uniform in Mohali
Students in Classes 6 to 8 of 400 schools in Mohali district affected; Punjab govt cites lack of money as reason for delay; grant comes from Union ministry every year.punjab Updated: Dec 16, 2017 13:05 IST
Even as the mercury continues to dip, over 400 government schools in the district have not yet received money for the purchase of winter uniform for the students of Classes 6 to 8.
The government has cited a lack of funds as a reason for the delay. In such a situation, the authorities of Government High School, village, Mohali, were forced to request a bank to help their students stay warm in the biting cold.
An official of the school, requesting anonymity, said, “Students of Classes 6 to 10 have received 307 sweaters from the bank. A delay in releasing funds for students’ uniform has become a yearly routine. Students wait for their uniform, but no one is bothered to make the due payment on time.”
The scheme to provide uniforms to government school students was launched in 2010-11 by the Union ministry of human resource development. Under this, boys belonging to SC and BPL categories and all girl students get ₹400 per year to purchase uniform.
A majority of the principals and authorities from the education department said the funds set aside by the central government are meagre.
They said even a pair of shoes was not available for ₹400 these days, let alone a whole set of uniform. The government has made a mockery out of this whole process of providing money to children studying in Punjab, they added.
Winter uniform sets include a trouser, a shirt, a pair of shoes, socks, a cap or turban and a sweater for boys and kameez, salwar, dupatta, sweater, a pair of shoes and socks for girls.
Another official from the department said, “The grant comes from the Centre and might have been diverted for some other use. This negligence has become part of a routine every year.”
Paramjeet Singh, director, public instructions (DPI, secondary), said, “The grant is expected this month and if it doesn’t come then the whole purpose of the exercise is defeated. There is a delay from the Centre and we are pursuing the matter with the authorities.”