| Officials distribute cash among students of Government Middle School, Salempur Dumra, in Patna for buying uniforms and bicycles. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Patna, Jan. 15: Case I: It was the tale of two students at Government Middle School, Salempur Dumra near the Patna airport.
Sanoj Kumar, a Class VIII student, was elated after receiving Rs 700 in cash for purchasing uniforms. His classmate Preeti Kumari, on the other hand, had to return empty-handed as she failed to meet the essential criteria of 75 per cent attendance for getting benefits of state government schemes.
Case II: Students and their parents created a scene at Panchsheel Residential High School, Kumhrar, as more than 50 per cent of the students who had come to take Rs 2,500 for purchase of cycles had to return empty-handed, also owing to poor attendance. Angry parents and students protested against the school authorities and disrupted the programme, forcing the police to intervene.
The government’s much-vaunted programme meant for distribution of cash among students under various schemes started today. By launching the scheme, the government wants to check fake enrolment of students in government schools for getting the welfare benefits.
The camps will continue till January 30. Under the programme, every school has to disburse the cash in a given day. The state education department has asked every school to fix a day from January 15 to 30 under which they have to complete the process of distribution of cash for particular schemes. According to the directive, 75 per cent attendance is mandatory for availing the benefits.
Deputy director, education, R.S. Singh said: “As the distribution of cash is to be covered in all government schools, which is a big affair, every school was given a fixed date so that distribution can be completed.” In order to make the entire process transparent, people’s representatives such as ward councillors, MLAs and even ministers were asked to supervise the entire process in schools falling under their jurisdiction. Moreover, the schools have been told to videotape the entire process and seek the help of the local police station to prevent any untoward incident. However, despite directive from education department, no local MLA or councillor was present at Government Middle School, Salempur Dumra, nor was there any police personnel.
Nuzhat Bano, the principal of Government Middle School, Salempur Dumra, said: “Based on the direction of the education department, we have arranged for videotaping the entire process but we don’t know why there was no police personnel present.”
At Government Middle School, Salempur Dumra, of the 300 registered students studying from classes I to VIII, only 177 were the beneficiaries of the scheme as the rest could not meet the criteria of 75 per cent attendance.
At Panchsheel Residential High School, Kumhrar, of 86 students registered, only 39 got Rs 2,500 in cash for purchase of bicycles under the Mukhyamantri Cycle Yojana.