Fighting for a fair cause, residents from across different localities on the southern fringes of Jamshedpur sat on an indefinite hunger strike from Wednesday.
The 12 crusaders under the banner of Youth Debate Society — a voluntary organisation that prepares underprivileged students for competitive examinations — gathered in front of the district collectorate to protest against the administration’s indifference to their long-pending demand for a government girls’ high school in their area.
Residents of Bagbera, Kitadih and Ghaghidih have been demanding the cradle for the past six years. The areas together have a population of over 300,000, most of them tribals. Frustrated with verbal assurances from education and administrative officials, the protesters this time have decided to see to the end.
“At present, we have to send our daughters to Ram Janaki Girls’ High School in Jugsalai, around 8km from where we live. Several girls have dropped out owing to the distance and fear of eve-teasing. Every time we started an agitation, we were assured that our demands have been placed before the state HRD officials. Six years have passed, but nothing has happened. This time we will not budge,” said Sushil Khan, a resident of Harharguttu in Bagbera.
The residents claimed that they had submitted petitions before successive deputy commissioners at least thrice, sat on an indefinite dharna in front of Jamshedpur block development office at Karandih in April 2013 and before district education officer in July the same year.
East Singhbhum district superintendent of education Indu Bhusan Singh, who is now the acting district education officer as DEO Mukesh Kumar Sinha is out of town, said the residents’ demand had been forward to state HRD mandarins.
“We have already forward the demand and now it is up to the state HRD to sanction the school,” Singh reiterated.