Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Aware folks take RTI, kids to school

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 15, 2006

Aware folks take RTI, kids to school

Divya Iyer


Posted Sunday , August 13, 2006 at 11:58Updated Sunday , August 13, 2006 at 12:38

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New Delhi: The day starts early for five-year-old Lokesh. Going to school is the best part of his day and Lokesh will miss it for nothing, not even sleep.

In another house in east Delhi’s Sundarnagari, little Harsh is getting ready to join Lokesh. But it wasn’t like this always. The journey from their homes to the public school has not been easy.

Pushpa, Lokesh’s mother says: “When we went to the school to deposit the admission fees they refused to give us the form. They said they wouldn’t fill the names of our children here. We asked why and they replied they won’t accept admissions of children from poor families.”

Under the Weaker Sections Act, public schools are supposed to give free admission to poor children. But most schools don’t follow it.

When Pushpa applied for her son’s admission in Nutan Vidya Mandir, they gave the admission but demanded a huge sum of money as development charges. Pushpa filed an RTI in the Education Department.

An appeal to the public grievance committee forced the school into admitting the children and refunding their money.

Once aimless and carefree, today these kids proudly narrate stories and recite poems.

The easy smile, the confident talk, this commitment is something that even their parents are not used to.

But the RTI Act and going to a public school has changed their life completely. And not just theirs, over the past six months, more than 200 children from the weaker sections have got admission in good public schools.

The parents too are a happy lot.

Rekha, Harsh’s mother says: “It feels very good. I feel more kids should also get admission.”

Sushma, Gouresh’s mother says: “He doesn’t like holidays, he loves to go to school. He never takes an unnecessary holiday.”

One could never have imagined kids from this area to go to a public school. But the Right to Information Act has ensured that these kids grow up to shape their own destiny.


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