By making Aadhaar mandatory, Delhi's government schools are shutting their doors to migrant children -Shreya Roy Chowdhury
Both children and their parents need the unique identity number to get admission, receive benefits under the education law.
Along the Sagarpur nala (drain) near Uttam Nagar in West Delhi lives a community of grinding stone makers originally from Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. They say they have lived in the row of shacks along the stormwater drain for over a decade now. But they have no documents to prove this.
“No power bill, no ration card or voter identity card for this place, nor an Aadhaar card,” said Kashiprasad, listing the identity papers he did not have. All but three residents of the slum are in this situation.
In January, a teacher of a municipal school in the Dwarka area of West Delhi convinced the residents of this slum to send 28 of their children to school. The Right to Education Act, 2009 – which entitles all children between six and 14 years of age to free education – requires that these children be placed in age-appropriate classes, irrespective of whether they have been to school before. So, they are now attending a special training centre for out-of-school children at the Vashisht Park municipal school. This will help get them up to speed for regular school.
But, there are more hurdles in their way. Till they enrol for Aadhaar and get Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, they will not receive the Rs 500 they are entitled to for a school uniform or the Rs 120 for a school bag and cap.
Also, the Vashisht Park municipal school, like all municipal schools, is only up till Class 5. For children old enough to join the regular government schools that start at Class 6 – admissions for which begin on April 17 – getting in might be impossible because the Delhi government has made Aadhaar mandatory for admissions this year.
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Scroll.in, 16 April, 2017, https://scroll.in/article/834418/by-making-aadhaar-mandatory-delhis-government-schools-are-shutting-their-doors-to-migrant-children