Aims at ensuring at least 50 parents are able to secure seats in the next academic year through his efforts

On the day the admission process for Right to Education (RTE) quota seats in private schools began on Tuesday, the block education office of north range 1 in Rajajinagar was packed with parents waiting to get an admission form. In the crowd was a large number of autorickshaw drivers, standing out in their khakhi uniforms, busy jotting down the list of private schools in their neighbourhood.

For this group of autorickshaw drivers to be aware that 25 per cent of seats in private schools is reserved for people from weaker sections, the credit goes to M. Krishna, an auto driver who has been spreading awareness about the reservation offered by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Prabhu M., a resident of Vijayanagar, who works in an auto consultant agency, was among those who decided to admit his child to a private school under the quota only after Mr. Krishna handed him an application form. “He explained the procedure and advised me to apply in as many schools as possible so that my daughter gets a seat in at least one,” he said.

Mr. Krishna was at the block education office on Tuesday too, to assist parents in the application process.

Standing near his auto, plastered with posters of the Act brought out by the Department of Public Instruction, he claims he has spread awareness about the act in several slums. “People in slums are unaware of the quota. People like me could not even dream of sending our children to private schools as we have to shell out at least Rs. 15,000 for admission. But this quota has raised our hopes,” he said, before adding that he wants to ensure that at least 50 parents are able to secure seats for their children in private schools for the next academic year through his efforts.

Mr. Krishna, who has studied till SSLC, said he got to know about the Act through articles in Kannada newspapers.

“I decided I would admit my daughter for class one and my son for LKG. So I began reading all articles pertaining to this carefully,” he said. “I want to ensure that my children study English. I have big dreams for them,” he said with pride.

Still unaware

According to him, many people are still unaware of the RTE provisions. “Over 36,000 seats under the RTE quota were vacant last year. This year, I am going to do my bit to ensure that the seats are filled,” he said.

He is planning to go door-to-door this month and raise awareness about the quota.

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