Delhi

40 years on, tin sheds for classrooms

: Forty years after the Qaumi Senior Secondary School in Sadar Bazaar was demolished, its students continue to study inside tin sheds.

The school was constructed post Partition using funds arranged by Muslims, who had decided to stay back in India. It was taken over by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 1960 as a primary school. In 1975, it was raised to the higher-secondary level. On June 30, 1976, the Delhi government razed the five-storey building as it wanted land to make Janta flats. Its promise to rebuild the school, however, fell flat.

At present, its 715-odd students study inside tin sheds constructed on an Eidgah land in Quresh Nagar. In another blow to them, the Eidgah management that had allowed them to run the school is now demanding its land back.

Future left hanging

The students have requested the Delhi government to provide land for building a school. However, according to the government, the matter should be decided by the Lieutenant-Governor.

Early this week, the Delhi High Court asked the Wakf Board to respond to a plea made by social activist Firoz Bakht Ahmed that land be allotted for building the school. His counsel Atyab Siddiqui stressed that the interests of poor students were being turned into a tussle between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant-Governor.

He said that under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, the Delhi government was obliged to provide land for constructing schools. Mr. Ahmed said that despite repeated assurances from various parties in power, the school had not been reconstructed.

“I had met Mr. Kejriwal when he was not the Chief Minister. He had promised to reconstruct the school building if he came to power. But till date, the situation remains the same. The future of the students is at stake. If they can no longer pursue their studies, they might turn into anti-social elements, or worse, terrorists,” rued Mr. Ahmed.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 1:16:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/40-years-on-tin-sheds-for-classrooms/article14623435.ece

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