Being forced to travel by unreserved by train a human rights violation: NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has pulled up the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan (KVS) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development for sending students and teachers to a sports meet on unreserved rail tickets.

The KVS that runs 1092 schools in India, catering primarily to children of government servants, is organising the 45th KVS National Sports Meet (Girls) 2014 in Ahmedabad from October 14 to 18. The girls aged 10 to 18, from KVs across India, assembled here and left by train on October 12. Almost 9,000 girls are participating.

A parent made an anonymous complaint that the students “were packed off like cattle in sleeper coaches without reservation.” He added that even their return tickets were not confirmed.

The NHRC rarely makes observations while issuing a notice to a respondent. It is after hearing the respondent that a decision is taken. However, Justice D. Murugesan who examined this complaint observed, “It is clear that no such arrangements were made which made the students to travel 16 – 17 hours in train without reservation… The human rights of not only the students but also of the escorting teachers appear to have been violated in the matter.”

KVS Commissioner Avinash Dikshit was not available for comment.

Speaking to The Hindu, Justice Murugesan clarified that his observations were not merely based on the fact the people had to travel unreserved. “This is a national level event. The KVS should have made adequate arrangements and either given them reserved tickets or requested the railways for a separate coach. Transporting children in large numbers yet making them suffer without berths is because of negligence,” he said.

He added that after getting a response from the ministry and KVS, the NHRC may order compensation to the students and teachers if required. “We can also ask the authorities to identify the teachers responsible for this negligence and take disciplinary action,” Justice Murugesan said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 5:19:38 AM |

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