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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Cooch Behar: Female students of Gitaldaha High School block road over Kanyashree delay

Carrying placards, the protesters alleged that the headmaster and others concerned at the school had not processed their applications on time

Our Correspondent Cooch Behar Published 21.05.24, 11:45 AM
Girls of Gitaldaha High School block the state highway on Monday

Girls of Gitaldaha High School block the state highway on Monday Picture by Main Uddin Chisti

Over 100 female students of a high school in Cooch Behar district staged a road blockade on Monday to protest against the alleged delay on the part of the school authorities
in processing their applications for the Kanyashree scholarship scheme.

The students of Gitaldaha High School, near the India-Bangladesh border and in the Dinhata subdivision, raised the blockade on the Gitaldaha-Dinhata state highway, also known as Rangpur Road.

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Carrying placards, the protesters alleged that the headmaster and others concerned at the school had not processed their applications on time.

Under the Kanyashree scheme, every female student in state-aided schools receives an annual grant of 1,000. If she pursues academics or any occupation and is unmarried after 18, she gets a one-time grant of 25,000.

“To ensure that a girl student gets the financial assistance, the school authorities had to submit a form to the local BDO office. We went to the BDO office today (Monday) and learnt that our forms had not yet arrived. We apprehend that we might not get the assistance because of the delay and so resorted to the blockade,” said Puja Barman, one of the protesters.

Sources have said the co-educational higher secondary institution has around 2,500 students.

Traffic stopped on the state highway at Gitaldaha because of the blockade.

Around 2pm, Moloy Kumar Das, the headmaster, reached the spot and spoke to the students who demanded that he give them an assurance in writing. Das then gave an undertaking that the process of filling up the application forms would start on June 4 when the school would reopen after the ongoing summer vacation. Based on his assurance, the girls lifted the blockade.

“When the school was open, some female students were absent and we could not forward their forms to the BDO office. Later, the general election was declared and the work stopped,” said the headmaster.

“We have told the girls that after June 4 (when the election results will be announced), we will resume filling up forms and ensure that all of them get the benefit,” Das added.

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