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September 25, 2020

Based On Khabri Baba’s Reporting, NHRC Issues Notice to Delhi Government

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New Delhi: Taking cognizance of the fact that the children of Chilla Khadar do not have a school in their vicinity and are forced row a boat across the Yamuna to attend a school, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi government.

Khabri Baba had first reported the story in March 2019, as the first episode of ‘Sadak Se Sansad’, a journey across India before the general elections, and again eleven months later, in February 2020.

In a statement, the Commission said it has taken “suo-motu cognizance of a media report that Chilla Khadar village in Delhi does not have a school due to which the children have to cross the Yamuna river by boat everyday putting their lives to immense danger to attend a school. It is not easy especially for girl students, as they have to walk an hour to reach the school after riding a boat. Reportedly, if the boat is not available on a particular day, the students have to walk about 2 kms on a non-motorable road.”

It issued a notice to the chief secretary of the Delhi government and sought a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. “The report must include details of the government schools functional in the area mentioned in the news reports,” the statement said.

It observed that the contents of the news report raise serious issue of violation of human rights. “It is indeed surprising that in the National Capital, everyday young students are coming across such a nightmare just to attend school for education, which is their fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21-A of the Constitution of India,” the NHRC said.

The Right to Education Act says that primary school children should not be studying in schools more than 1 kilometre away, while upper primary level students should not have to travel more than 3 km for their school.

The NHRC’s statement said, “Reportedly, an officer of the Education Department of Delhi Government has said that they are not sure, if there is a school within the 3 km radius of the area. It is also mentioned in a news report that sometimes, the boat topples then it takes more time for the students to reach their school.”

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