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Dalit boy forbidden from attending classes; faces insult on #RepublicDay

TUMAKURU: Cash crunch post demonetisation has left Kishan M, a class 5 student, in a lurch. To make matters worse, on Thursday, he and his mother were humiliated by the school headmaster for not paying the fees.

The incident came ten days after Manjunath, secretary cum headmaster of the National English School at Yallapura, forbade him from attending the classes till he paid his dues amounting to Rs 22,000. Due to the same, his mother Prema and the boy approached the Block Education Officer (BEO) Basavaraju and explained their plight. The officer in turn requested the headmaster to let the boy attend classes as examinations were fast
approaching.

On Thursday, the boy along with his mother hesitantly entered the school premises during Republic Day celebrations. “The HM screamed at me and reiterated that he will never allow my son to attend classes in the school”, alleged Prema.

“The HM used to scold me and bully me for not paying the fees. Now having lost ten days of classes, I am afraid that I may miss out and fail to catch up next classes. I want to become an engineer”, Kishan said.

Tough times

Since kindergarten, he had been studying in the NES and until last year his parents would regularly pay the fees. “This time I had paid Rs 5,000 June 2016. My husband Mahesh who used to stitch bags on piece work basis stopped earning as manufacturers stopped orders following demonetisation. He has been roaming here and there jobless and warns of even ditching me and children”, rued Prema, an illiterate from Obalapura village on Koratagere road.

“I was expecting an education loan to the tune of Rs 5,000 from Grameen Koota as I used to get earlier for my son. But they too have stopped the micro-finance business in our village after the note ban”, she explained.

She has been managing the cash crunch with the 10 kgs of rice and 5 kgs of ragi which she gets free under PDS. “If I link the Aadhaar numbers of my children with the BPL ration card, I will get more grains and manage better”, she said.

Manjunath, when contacted over phone, said that he had told the boy not to attend the classes until he pays the fee. “How can I run the show as mine? This is an unaided institution. Over eight students out of 450 have been irregular in paying the fees”, he said.

The BEO Basavaraju told Express that he may once again try to negotiate with the school authorities.

Courtesy- Indian Express

 

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