September 17, 2008

Poor Kids Suffer Due to Lack of Facilities

By Shivani Mehra

Amritsar: While the concept of National Child Labour Project (NCPL) special school was well-received and applauded too, the one being run in the premises of government elementary school, Gate Hakeeman , portrays a rather disappointing picture. For the school is denied of even basic facilities like drinking water, toilet etc besides adequate number of rooms.

Notably, the NCLP schools were started in September 2001 by the labour ministry of India to provide education to underprivelegded children whose parents were not able to afford school fees. There are as many as 30 such schools being run in the premises of government schools in the district.

While talking to TOI, Surjeet Chand Sood, in-charge of NCLP special school, Gate Hakeeman branch, claimed that they were not being given proper facilities . He alleged that they had two rooms for 100 students whereas four additional rooms were needed. He added sometimes they had to take classes in the verandah or under tree sheds.

Sood rued, the students were not given proper drinking water facilities or allowed to use school toilets due to holidays for past 10 days. "The school administration had locked the toilets and had got the valves of taps tightened so that no children could open it," he said.

While admitting that the school management had locked the toilets during holidays doe to non-availabilty of a sweeper, Manjit Kaur, the school principal claimed that the water line was defective . "But we never stopped the students of NCLP school from drinking water or using the toilets," she said.

Amarjit Singh, assistant labour commissioner said that they would look into the matter matter and would take up the issue with school administration adding that stern action would be taken against anyone found guilty.

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