DCW calls MCD-run schools ‘horror houses’, demands report

Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal

Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal | Photo Credit: File photo

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has termed “horror house” some of the schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) after conducting surprise inspections at four different campuses in the Capital.

The commission said its teams found “syringes, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes” on the premises but no security guards or CCTV cameras to keep a check on the activities in the school. The toilets were locked and children were forced to defecate in the open, said the commission.

Between May 20 and 21, DCW teams visited MCD-run schools at Aruna Nagar, Kewal Park, Mustafabad and  Bhati Mines. The teams inspected the school buildings and interacted with students, teachers and other staff. They said students were forced to sit under tin shade during heatwaves, some classrooms did not have seating arrangements and children were made to sit on mats. Most of the desks were broken with nails jutting out of the wood, which could hurt the students, the commission said.

The commission has issued a notice to MCD Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti in the matter and sought a detailed action report by May 30. Details have also been sought on the officials responsible for the dismal condition of the schools and the corporation has been asked to take action against them, said the commission.

Demand for action

DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal called the schools “horror houses” and said the condition there was “alarming and extremely unsafe”. “Action must be taken against those who are responsible for such conditions of schools,” she said.

Responding to the DCW’s comments, the MCD said difficulties are being faced in equipping the school at Bhati Mines as it is situated on Forest Department land; the school in Aruna Nagar is set to be renovated soon and the broken syringe may have been found near the school at Keval Park because of its proximity to the corporation’s dispensary.  

Former Education Committee chairperson of the erstwhile South Delhi Municipal Corporation Nikita Sharma said if the DCW is inspecting schools, the poor condition of State government-run schools should also be highlighted.

Delhi BJP vice-president Barkha Singh raised questions on the sudden visit by the DCW teams. She said Ms. Maliwal is not speaking up on why children are forced to study in three shifts in schools run by the Delhi government.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 8:11:19 pm |