NHRC notice to Delhi Government over closure of an NGO run school for poor kids in Okhla (05.2.2015)
New Delhi, 5th February, 2015
The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that unable to fulfill the stringent RTE rules, Deepalaya, a school for poor kids run by an NGO since the last 22 years in Okhla, New Delhi had to be shut down. The school had more than 600 students up to class eighth at the time of its closure in 2014.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious violation of right to education of children from lower income group. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Secretary, Department of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi calling for reports within two weeks.
According to the media report, as per the RTE Act, it is necessary that the States which have implemented the Act should recognize the schools. And for the recognition of the school, it is necessary that the school has its own the land or has it on lease. Whereas, the NGO running Deepalaya, did not own the land nor it had on a lease. The school was being operated from a piece of land provided to the NGO by the Basti Vikas Kendra in 1992 under Community Development Programme. Moreover, the NGO could not pay the teachers' salaries as per the 6th Pay Commission, which is required under the RTE Act. In absence of the recognition, the school has been shut down and is running as a tuition centre.