The Delhi Commission for Women conducted a surprise check of civic body-run schools in the national capital to look into safety and security measures in place for girl students in wake of recent reports of molestation.
DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal, who led the team, called the condition of some of these schools “pathetic, unsafe and deeply disturbing”.
Terming the schools as horror houses, Maliwal wrote, “On the world stage, we give the slogan of ‘Padhega India, but these slogans seem to be limited to luxurious offices with high walls”.
The surprise inspection was conducted at four schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) – Bhai Mandeep Nagpal Nigam Vidhyalaya, Nigam Pratibha Sah Shiksha Vidhyalaya, Purvi Dilli Nagar Nigam Pratibha Vidhyalaya, Dakshini Dilli Nagar Nigam Prathmik Sah Bal Balika Vidhyalaya – on May 20 and 21.
The commission said the dilapidated conditions of the building could lead to a collapse at any moment. Maliwal shared visuals on her Twitter handle that showed a board installed by the school in Kewal Park asking people to “maintain distance” because the ceiling of the building was damaged (“Bhawan ke chhajje kshatigrast hai, kripya doori banaye rakhein ). Despite the board on the building, ‘800 children’ continued to be taught there putting them at grave risk, she added.
The commission also found used syringes, drugs, cigarette boxes, gutkha wrappers, and even broken alcohol bottles on the school premises.
“I am shocked to see the hopeless conditions at these MCD schools. These schools are horror houses where students and teachers are extremely unsafe. MCD is running schools where girls are forced to defecate in the open! So much for the Total Sanitation Campaign!,” said Maliwal.
The commission further said the schools did not have a single functional CCTV camera. “Somewhere children are studying by laying rugs and somewhere childhood is passing on a broken bench”. The washroom gates were broken or did not have latches inside, and children went out to defecate, raising serious concerns over the safety and privacy of the students.
According to reports, a notice was issued to the MCD commissioner in the matter. The commission was also asked to make urgent improvements in the situation and take action against officials responsible for the dismal condition of schools.
(With agency inputs)
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