NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
Carrying forward from the opening of a school in Hamidpur Char & enrolling 378 children on Thursday, for whom education had been a distant dream come true, it was the day for yet another batch of 136 children enrolled in to a newly setup school in the age group of 6-8 yrs of Narayanpur Char in Manichak Block of Malda District, also visited by the 5 member Team of NCPCR led by its Member, Vinod Kumar Tikoo . The school was inaugurated on Nov 23, 2011 with 42 children which number swelled to 136. This was made possible with the help of untiring efforts of the DPO-SSM and the ADM(G) , Malda in a quick response following the intervention of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
In its direction to the State Administration on 20th October, 2011 in a public hearing on the complaints on Right to Free and Compulsory Education, NCPCR had issued necessary directives to take immediate steps for initiating action in setting up primary schools for out of school children living in the areas of Gangetic chars by December 2011. It was heartening to note that the District Administration.
The day also marked yet another success for 199 children of Duani Char of the same block in Malda Distt, when it was decided to inaugurate yet another school in this so far inaccessible char for which the mapping of out of school children has been done. The piece of land where the school is to be setup has been identified, teachers appointed and even a boatman hired to help the teacher cross the river Ganges in the morning and after the school. The date has been set as 14thDecember 2011 for the inauguration of this third school in a row to enable the children to realize their dream of their right under the RTE Act 2009
Thousands lose their homes to the Ganga that borders vast western parts of Malda district every year resulting in transformation of chars on account of continuous erosion.The continuous erosion and resurfacing of chars has resulted in change of the course of the river Ganges by a good number of kilometres. The inhabitants of Narayanpur and Duani chars are among the many other similar chars who have lost their homes and hearth to nature`s fury, with their children deprived of even the basic amenities and facilities due to the apathy all these years in the past.
The Central delegation from NCPCR visited the Narayanpur and Duani chars on Friday accompanied by the District Administration Officials, ADM(G)-SSM, DPO-SSM; BDO Manichak, and the BMOH on Friday (islets) to look into the problems faced by the children of these remote islands. Also present were some of the NGOs who have been advocating the cause of restoring the rights of children otherwise deprived so far.
“I have directed the BMOH to send a proposal for starting a health sub-centre within a week`s time to the ADM,“ said Mr Vinod Kumar Tikoo, Member, NCPCR who led the five member Central team. “I have also directed the district administration to provide healthcare services through outreach posts during the interim period. The local BDO has been directed to ensure distribution of mid-day meals within the next 7 days and arrange to train local person from the villagers as ANMs,in the main land and to be sent back to these chars to work for the villages“ he added.
The teacher recently appointed by the administration recently & present in the makeshift bamboo class was directed to complete the admission register by incorporating the ages of all the children and getting them admitted in their age-appropriate classes.
Two localites, who have completed their XIIth standard, were asked by the team to assist the teacher in all possible way.
The only local literate person I the Duani char was asked to provide support to the children in the village and get in touch with the BDO for enabling the children to avail all their entitlements. The ADM (General) also appointed a local boatman to ferry the teacher to the island and back at a monthly remuneration of Rs 2000.
NCPCR team complimented the good work done by the District Administration in response to the Commission`s directives and have further directed to inspect the other inhabited chars and to map the out of school children