NDMC meeting to strengthen security, safety of students

Even as the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) suspended five officials of the education department on Saturday for the sexual assault on a seven-year-old girl in a Mongolpuri school, a delegation of the All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has alleged that there were security lapses and unhygienic conditions in the absence of toilet facility in the school.

However, NDMC Education Committee chairperson Rekha Gupta refuted the allegations and said the girls’ school has proper toilet facility and security arrangements. She said the school has well-secured premises and has sufficient security arrangement as well.

In a statement issued on Saturday, AIDWA Delhi Secretary Sehba Farooqui had alleged that the NDMC-run school in the area had no security or CCTV camera to monitor the security of students or teachers in the premises. The school chowkidar is one of the five suspended officials.

“During our visit to the school and talks with the local people and activists, we were told that the premises of the school were being used for illegal practices including alcoholism and gambling by local lumpen elements after school hours. Despite previous complaints by local people no action was taken by the school or the local police,” alleged Ms. Farooqui.

“The conditions and infrastructure of the NDMC school, like any other school of the corporation in the area, are so unhygienic and poor that girl students do not feel secure in their premises. This also results in increased drop-out rates of girl children. This school and no other school in the area have toilets for girls in full working conditions and thus the girls have to go out for this purpose. This makes them vulnerable to sexual assault,” she further alleged.

Denying the allegations, Ms. Gupta said: “The school has 550 students and it is ridiculous to think a school with such a strength functioning without the toilet facilities. The school has proper and many toilets and there is no question of girls getting uncomfortable or dropping out.”

“We have also ordered an enquiry into the case and are meeting on Monday to chalk out the strategy to strengthen the security and safety of students in the municipality-run schools,” she added.

AIDWA has demanded effective and swift action in the case.

“The security of all resettlement colonies should be increased and patrolling by women cops intensified, especially after sunset. Medical relief, counselling, legal assistance and compensation should also be provided to the rape survivor and her family,” demanded Ms. Farooqui.

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