‘Targeting those who are really poor’ has been the word used by the government and financial institutions to reduce state funding or subsidy for various social schemes. Now Rajasthan government has gone a step further and issued an order that will put according to one estimate three lakh students from vulnerable sections out from the schools. In doing so the BJP government is making the Right To Education Act a mockery
Under the Right to Education Act, any child from poor financial background — whose parents’ annual income is less than Rs. 2.5 lakh a year – can apply for admission to a private school. The government bears the costs. But Vasundara Raje government in Rajasthan, effectively nullified the act by issuing an order last month saying that those who are below the poverty line or those who are from SC/ST will be eligible for this. This activists say will put about three lakh children out of school
Activists have moved the High Court, the case will be heard on April 20.
“The government wants to cut down the number of people it has to support under the Right to Education Act,” Pranjal Singh from Abhyuttanam Society, who has filed the petition told media.
The government’s defense was the same as the one they used to put forward whenever a subsidy was taken away or public funding is cut. The BJP government said the order was to help the “real poor”. “The number of applications under the RTE was becoming huge and the BPL people were being left out,” said Rajendra Singh Rathore, health minister and spokesman of the Vasundhara Raje government.
Government figures show that of the 1.65 lakh children who benefitted under RTE last year,only 20,000 were from BPL families.
Ever since it took over the Vasundhara Raje’s BJP government has introduced a lot of reform measures in the industrial and social sector. The trade union law, which restricts union activities in Industrial houses were passed first by the Vasundara Raje government. The Central government could not pass the law because of the stiff opposition from the trade unions and civil society.