10th of December is celebrated as World Human Rights Day. In the month of its celebration this year, we observe the blatant ignorance of basic humanity. Access to education, nutrition, and a life free from exploitation are the basic tenets of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our Constitution.
In the very beginning of the month, the state government of Maharashtra decided to shut down Zilla Parishad schools which cater to less than 10 children. There are 1314 such schools which the State government has decided to shut down. While the officials say the existence of less than 10 children implies the poor quality of the schools, it is very much possible that some schools are in remote areas which have very few children enrolled due to demographic reasons. The lack of concern shown by the government to cater to these populations is disrespectful to people who deserve every right to have their children educated.
The Right to Education Act provides for this. Cost-cutting in such crucial areas is symptomatic of a government that undervalues the importance of social interventions to develop the population inclusively. This move needs to be opposed widely to ensure that access to education is eased and not made tougher for children from remote areas, invariably belonging to the most marginalized sections of the populations.
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