Mumbai: Not Invited For Inauguration, Shiv Sena Corporator Allegedly Shuts Down School
The Logical Indian Crew Maharashtra
July 5th, 2018 / 5:33 PM
A school in Mumbai was allegedly shut down by the local corporator after she was not invited for the launch of the school. The fate of more than 230 students, who are enrolled with the school, is now at stake. Helpless parents are protesting and demanding that the school be re-opened.
The English-medium, Oshiwara JBCN international school, is run by a private trust. Reports suggest that the school is for kindergarten to class 7th and all these classes are conducted in seven classrooms in total. It was inaugurated on June 15, 2018.
According to Mumbai Mirror, Corporator Rajul Patel from the Shiv Sena said, “This is my fourth term [as corporator] in office. I should’ve been informed about the school’s opening, but they (school authorities) didn’t feel the need to do so.”
The Logical Indian reached out to Rajul Patel, who denied such claims. She says, “The school is trying to malign me. The school did not start on June 15. Only the admission process had begun till then, but they have accused me of shutting down the school. The truth is that I was pressuring the school authorities to start as soon as possible that is why they (school authorities) have come up and said all of that.”
Even though she mentions the fact that not receiving the school’s invite irked her, she also brings forward some other issues.
“I got to know about the launch by another officer. This is not done, if some school is opening in my area then the school should have invited us just for a visit,” she said.
Rajul claimed that there are legal problems with the plot on which the school is built. According to her, the plot that was reserved for a municipal school in the area was sold to the private firm in 2012. “BMC has sold the plot legally, but the school authorities did not get proper No Objection Certificate (NOC) done from us,” she says.
She adds, “How can classes till 7th standard be run from seven rooms?”
However, she states that the school will be re-opened after it gets inaugurated by the BMC Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, who is also from Shiv Sena.
“The school will be reopened only after it is inaugurated at the hands of our Sena mayor on July 5. He is on his way to the school and by 12:30 we will be reaching the school,” she adds.
Whereas, JBCN school has refuted Rajul’s claim. “The school management has stated that it had effected a complete handover of the school’s physical infrastructure to the BMC in 2012-13, in compliance with government norms and civic regulations. It is not the school management’s prerogative to decide when to make the school operational,” reports Times of India.
The Logical Indian also tried reaching out to the school, but the school refused to comment, even when asked about today’s planned inauguration.
Reportedly, the Oshiwara Lokhandwala Citizens Association has said that after the land was given to the JBCN International School, the association fought for the inclusion of the underprivileged kids in the school.
“The plot belonged to the municipality originally. The association appealed to the firm to allocate 15% of the land for the education of underprivileged kids. Now, the future of these 230 students is at stake because of the arrogance of the corporator. The school was indeed inaugurated today, but most association members did not attend the function,” said Ashoke Pandit of Oshiwara Lokhandwala Citizens Association to The Logical Indian.
Students left in the lurch
In all this confusion, students, who were supposed to start their academic year, are stranded now. Distressed parents took to the streets to demand the re-opening of the school as soon as possible. Reportedly, they have even appealed to the Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis.
Nitin Babar, who was among the protesters, said that students on the rolls hail from families that live below the poverty line.
“We cannot afford the fees of private schools. It’s too late now to seek admission in other schools. Our children’s academic year will go to waste. We want the school to reopen quickly,” he told Mumbai Mirror.
Another parent, Rama Kote, whose son, Ayush, is a class first student, said, “The police have refused to help us, they said they have no jurisdiction over the issue. My son used to study in another school, but we shifted here because we were told that everything — stationery, uniform and books — would be free. We are worried our children will lose a year.”
Written by : Ridhima Gupta
Edited by : Abhinav Joshi