498 students in 2 rooms: PIL on terrible state of public school in Jharkhand's Wasseypur
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in October 2017 in Jharkhand High Court for direction to the respondents/state for the implementation of RTE Act and Hon’ble Supreme Court in Environment & Consumer Protection Foundation vs. Delhi Admin. & Ors. (AIR 2013 SC 1111) with regards to infrastructure, teachers & other basic amenities in government schools. The petitioner highlighted the pathetic condition of Utkramit Urdu Madhya Vidyalaya, Wasseypur where 498 students from class 1 to 8 study in two small rooms without basic amenities. The school also lacks basic infrastructure like bench/desks, kitchen, library, storeroom, boundary etc., besides sufficient number of teachers and non-teaching staffs. There is no electricity connection and the mid day meal is prepared outside of school under the sky in unhygienic condition, states the PIL filed by a young Advocate Md Mumtaz Ansari of Wasseypur, Dhanbad. The petitioner is also associated with a group called Fight4Right, which is running an education centre named ‘Disha’ for school working and dropouts children. Ansari along with other members of the group admitted these children in neighbourhood school Utkramit Urdu Madhya Vidyalaya, Pandarpala, Wasseypur; and during the visits to the school the petitioner found that the school is running in only two rooms without basic amenities. The PIL was listed for first hearing on the occasion of Children’s Day i.e, 14th November 2017. The division bench of Acting Chief Justice D.N.Patel and Amitav Gupta took the matter very seriously and directed the government to come out with a concrete plan about the school on next hearing on November 20. On next hearing on 20th November the Advocate General of the state himself appeared and seek time to come out with some concrete development/plan. “An affidavit shall be filed by the Secretary, Department of School Eduction and Literacy Department, Government of Jharkhand, Ranchi on or before the next date of hearing, failing which, the said Secretary shall remain personally present before this Court on the next date of hearing at 10:30 am”, the court ordered. The PIL was disposed off on 08.01.2018 after the State Government filed a counter affidavit which stated that land has been allotted for the construction of new building and the students of present school have been shifted to nearby school. Considering the development the court disposed off the PIL with a direction to government of Jharkhand the “the building shall be built in time bound manner.” Advocate Md Shadab Ansari represented the petitioner.