Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan filed complained with MCGM

Demand compensation and strict action for violation of the Act

Mumbai | 18th December 2017: Apart from other major problems in Mahul, Mumbai-the rehabilitation site for the Tansa Pipeline Project Affected Families, the sample survey (of 130 children) carried out by the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) revealed that major provisions of Right To Education Act, 2009 are openly violated in the rehabilitation process which resulted in dropping out and traveling to really far off places to attend schools. This is in complete contravention to the core principles of RTE which also include free and compulsory education.

Since the demolition was carried out in the middle of an academic year, children had to continue their schooling in their old schools at original places. The rehabilitation site is variably at a distant place from the original places. The distance range from 10KMs to 20KMs. This has put a financial burden in the form of transportation cost on the poor families. Survey reveals that at least Rs. 200 is spent per day on to and fro transportation cost. This is really a huge cost for a family belonging to EWS or LIG. Majority of the PAFs belongs to these economic groups.Survey also recorded that in some cases where the parents cannot afford this transportation cost have simply stopped sending their children to school.

Due to the long distance between new home and old school, most of the mothers stay at school until it is over so as to save the multiple traveling cost. 

No arrangements were made by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to accommodate children in a new school at the rehabilitation site so that their academic year is not affected.  MCGM is the responsible body for carrying out rehabilitation of the Tansa Pipeline Project Affected Families.

  

Non-functional local sewage treatment plant has caused sewage to overflow making the streets filthier. School going children making their way to school from one those streets in Mahul rehabilitation site

RTE provisions stipulate the provisions of schools upto 5th standard and 8th standard within 1KM and 3KM respectively with free transportation so that the travelling cost can be waved off. This is to ensure that transportation cost should not become deterrent in sending children to school. However none of these basic provisions of the Act seems to be taken into consideration while making rehabilitation plan for the Tansa Pipeline Project Affected Families. GBGBA has filed a complaint today before MCGM against the violation of the Act and has sought quick action with a warning of mass action for inaction.

 Full complaint below…

 

[1]
Date: 18th December, 2017
To,
The Administrative Officer (School),
M/West
3 rd Floor, Room No 306, M/West,
Ward Office Building,
Sharad Bhau Marg Chembur (East )
Mumbai-400071
Subject: Complaint regarding violation of ‘Right To Education Act, 2009’ with regards to the
rehabilitation of Tansa Pipeline Project Affected Families/Persons.
Respected Sir/Madam,
We are writing to you regarding violation of children’s right to education due to the unexpected
and anti-humanity demolition of slum in the Tanasa pipeline area that took place with the
starting of this year. This was done as part of the orders from Hon. Bombay High Court in PIL
No. 140/2006.

 

The houses of the slum community that earlier lived in Tanasa pipeline area were demolished
and they have been rehabilitated in Mahul which is at variable distance ranging from 10KMs to
20KMs from the original places.
The demolition has disrupted lives and livelihood of the marginalised community trying hard to
sustain themselves through their hard, honest labour. The adults work to meet their daily needs
and send their children to schools with the hope of breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and
deprivation. When families are uprooted from their place of stay the children are the hapless,
silent victims. You will be well aware that the children coming to our MCGM schools come for
joy of learning, meeting their peers and teachers. They come with the hope of a future better
than their parents, they too have aspirations and dreams and also possess capacity and ability
to realise them. Our MCGM has the mandate to support this lot of children and we are aware
that its personnel have been trying to honour it.

 

However education does not take place in a vacuum. Being uprooted from the place of stay is a
grave, traumatic experience. Children see the helplessness and humiliation of their parents and
are unable to respond constructively. The safe-place of school can assuage some of this
frustration; provide support, along with nutrition and protection. The MCGM provides these
securities because they are aware that these are children’s rights and that they are duty-bound
to fulfill them. Ironically another arm of the MCGM through its aggressive, untimely demolition
drive has taken these rights away.
We thus decided to bring this situation to your notice and have conducted a sample survey of
about 130 children enrolled in MCGM schools. From our sample survey it has emerged that at
the Mahul rehabilitation site where the families removed from Tanasa have been shifted, the
situation regarding education is seriously inadequate or rather absent. The provisions of ‘Right
To Education Act, 2009’ are not taken into consideration while making the rehabilitation plan for
the Tansa Pipeline Project Affected Families.
As you know demolition was done in the middle of the academic year, especially of the primary
municipal schools, a Children enrolled in the MCGM schools in Tanasa Pipeline area who are
now shifted to Mahul are unable continue their schooling. Following are the specific violations
of the Right to Education Act, 2009.
The MCGM schools in Mahul are unable to accommodate the additional number of children.
There is in fact need for a new school altogether. (Section 6 & 8 provision of schools
within 1 km for Standard Ist to Vth and 3 Km for Standards VIth to VIIIth as well as Section
15.)
The children admitted to a new school in the middle of an academic year have a problem of
adapting to the school in short time and cannot catch-up well with teaching-learning. (Special
[3]
Provisions for Migrant Families (Section 6 & 9 k). Provision of residential schools or
facilities for transport in an event of migration or inaccessible distances. And Quality Instruction
(Sections 8 f, g, h, & 29) Classroom instruction for about 220 working days per year.)
As a result of which many children are continuing their schooling in the old schools in Tansa
Pipeline and their parents who are already economically burdened are now facing a huge
additional financial pressure in the form of transportation cost. (same as above.)
The to-and-fro cost of accessing school is nothing less than Rs. 200 per day. In
many cases families which cannot afford the transportation cost have simply
stopped sending their children to school. (Same as above).
This sudden gap in education is especially detrimental to children to have no additional
academic support outside school enjoyed by most better-off children. (Section 8 f, g, h, & 29).
Children below 6 years are unable to go the Anganwadies they were attending at Tansa
Pipeline. This has violated their right to Early Childhood Care and Education. (Section 11 RtE
Act).”

 

While this is not directly under the Education Department, MCGM children’s right to health,
nutrition is also violated due to this irresponsible and callous act and is bound to have serious
ramifications on develop, growth and learning.

 

We thus demand:
1. Enough Compensation to the families whose children dropped going to school as a
result of financial burden in the form of transportation cost or any other cost.
2. Appropriate compensation to families for transportation costs taking their children to
Tansa Pipeline area schools and back.
3. Immediate free transport arrangement to-and-fro to Tanasa Pipeline school till new
schools are made available as per RTE Act 2009 norms at Mahul.
[4]
4. Strict action against concerned authorities for violating the ‘Right To Education Act,
2005’ in the planning of rehabilitation for the Tansa Pipeline Affected Persons/Families.
5. Set clear time-lines and channels of operations to ensure the above especially as per
the latest guidelines set by Government of India to redress public grievances.
Hope you will do the needful in immediate effect. We will compelled to approach the State
Commission for Protection of Child Rights if our plea is not responded to positively.
Sincerely;
Medha Patkar Bilal Khan Ghanashyam Sonar
Phone: 9958660556
(Attachment: Copies of 42 survey sheets containing information of approx. 130
children)
Copy to:
1. Education Officer
Education Department Municiapal Corporation of Greater Mumbai,
Hindu Colony Lakhamshi Nappu Marg, Dadar ( E), Mumbai -400 014
[5]
2. Dy. Education Officer,
Zone V
M/West
3 rd Floor, Room No 306, M/West,
Ward Office Building,
Sharad Bhau Acharya Marg Chembur (East )
Mumbai-400071
3. Dy. Municipal Commissioner (Education)
F/S, Ward Office, 3rd floor, Parel,
Mumbai -400 012
4. Additional Municipal Commissioner (City),
Municipal Head Office, Annex Building,
Third Floor, Mahapalika Marg, Fort, Mumbai-400001
5. Mumbai Municipal Commissioner,
[6]
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai,
Head Quarter,
Mumbai C.S.T. 400001
6. Principal Secretary, Urban Development (I),
Mantralaya,
Mumbai-400032
7. Deputy Director of Education,
Mumbai Region,
Jawahar Bal Bhawan, Netaji Subhash Marg, Charni Road,
Mumbai – 400004

 

 

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