Skip to main content

Kejriwal government is adamant not to build Qaumi School for the poor despite Delhi High Court order

The Eidgah
By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
It seems that even at the order and behest of the High Court of Delhi to sanction land and building for the beleaguered Qaumi School that was razed to the ground 42 years ago during the infamous Emergency in 1976 and is running in tin sheds, the Kejriwal government and its Directorate of Education is not interested and concerned at all since they do not invite me, who is the petitioner, considering me to be a persona non grata, as stated in the meeting today. When Mr Anshu Prakash, the Hon’ble Chief Secretary asked the Director Education, Ms Saumya Gupta about my locus standi as petitioner, she said that I had none!
Last time also when the meeting was conducted under the then Chief Secretary, Mr MM Kutty, no postal, telephonic or any other intimation through email etc. was sent to call me as petitioner. However, by default, I came to know about it through the Principal, Qaumi School, an invitee, and attended it. In this meeting, I called a spade a spade and stated that there was a patch of about 15-16 acre Waqf Board land just adjacent to the Eidgah (where the hapless school is presently situated) of whose around 2 acre can be used to build the school that has 711 students who are fighting the vagaries of extremities of weather for attending classes that are torn and tattered tented structures.
A tent serving as class room
This is how the Directorate of Education works. On January 10, 2018 when the meeting was going on, at 11:30, I received a call from some Mr Pawan Kumar, deputy director, Education in the Directorate of Education, asking my name. After confirming it, when I asked him if there was any meeting, he never responded to. After that many calls were made by me but he never spoke. At the same time, I received a call from the Principal of Qaumi School, Mr Mohabbat Ali that there was a call from the Directorate that a meeting was there in which he wasn’t invited but I was. As a matter of fact, the Principal of Qaumi School too should have been invited to represent it.
Even in the earlier meeting, I had complained that no intimation was sent to me but all in vain. However, the DD Pawan confided in me that the Director Education holds a low opinion about building this school and wants to close it. Besides, the two meetings with the Chief Secretary too seem to be an eye wash just to shed the burden of the High Court Order of December 05, 2017.
The PIL filed by me has contended that the state of affairs at the Qaumi School was "sad and pitiable" as it was functioning from the grounds of the Eidgah at Quresh Nagar in Old Delhi after its building was demolished. The plea has alleged that despite promises of land and building, nothing was done and the school continued to function in a "tattered, tented and tinned structure, without a building" since 1976.
Kids outside the school
The PIL, filed through advocate Atyab Siddiqui, contended that children from the "down-trodden and backward class have to suffer due to threats of closure, makeshift classrooms, leaking roofs and no proper facilities… A hostile and inclement environment can hardly be conducive for learning. With competition in board examinations reaching stupendous proportions, children from such schools are placed at a huge disadvantage from the very inception of their schooling life."
What is ironic according to me is that it is the same school that was built by those Muslims who, rather than crossing over to Pakistan in the aftermath of Partition in 1947, loyally preferred to stay here in India and built the Qaumi School in 1948. The reward that they got was that on June 30, 1976, their school was demolished to make way for “Janata Flats” and shifted in tarpaulin tents at the Delhi Eidgah grounds on the promise that the school will be built within 6 months. It is now 42 years that the residents of Quresh Nagar are waiting for a proper building for their children.
I think it is obligatory on the state to provide infrastructure including a school building and the civic authorities have failed to discharge the statutory onus.
---
*Educationist, columnist and grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”