Pakistani Hindu refugees who escaped the atrocities in the neighbouring country where minorities are constantly on the receiving end of persecution are now being denied admission in schools run by Delhi government in the national capital.
On 14th May this year, Gulsher, with his three children came to India from Sukkur, Sindh in Pakistan. They are currently living at Bhatti Mines Hindu refugee camp in Chhatarpur area of New Delhi. Gulsher’s three children, Moona Kumari (18 years), Sanjina Bai (16 years) and Ravi Kumar (17 years) were unceremoniously removed after giving admission in a government school in Delhi because ‘they were too old’.
After coming to India from Pakistan on 14th July, the children were given admission to Delhi government school on 5th July and were given permission to attend classes from 8th July. However, on 14th September, they were told they are ‘too old’ to attend these classes and were unceremoniously removed.
They are to get admission in class 9 and 10, but according to school authorities, they are ‘too old’ to get admission in these classes. These children also have the school leaving certificates as well as enrolment cards of Pakistani school.
Speaking to OpIndia, Gulsher said that Delhi government’s education department officers had first assured him that the children will be admitted to the school. Gulsher even claimed that he had already submitted the transfer certificate obtained from Pakistan school to the Delhi government school.
According to Gulsher, after agreeing to admit the children, Delhi government school officials said that they cannot admit them because they were ‘too old’. The kids are currently not going to any school and wasting the precious months. He has met politicians including the Chhatarpur MLA and Aam Aadmi Party leader Kartar Singh Tanwar, but no help has come through. Gulsher claims that instead of helping him, the officers asked him to meet Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia. However, despite many attempts, he has not been able to meet Sisodia.
“We are tired. School management keeps on stalling. We have purchased school uniforms and books and everything but now school says they cannot study there. Not only I but even my kids are mentally disturbed now,” Gulsher told OpIndia.
Gulsher now hopes that the Supreme Court lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who is President of All India Parents Association (AIPA), may be able to help him. Agarwal has written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and appealed to him to help out Gulsher.
In his letter dated 23rd September, Agarwal apprises the Delhi CM about the atrocities carried out on minorities in Pakistan, owing to which many of them have sought refuse in India. He further added that the Central Government is contemplating granting them citizenship as well. “These Hindu families migrated from Pakistan to India have a large number of school age children required to be admitted in government school so to enable them to continue their further education,” the letter reads.
The letter further talks about a similar incident where a Hindu refugee from Pakistan, Madhu, who had no educational documents had requested for admission in class 9 in government school in Bhatti Mines, Chhatarpur. The then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had intervened and now Madhu studies in class 12 in the same government school.
Advocate Agarwal has write to Delhi CM about Article 14 and 21 of Indian Constitution which gives these children a fundamental right to education and such denial or removal is violation of their fundamental and human right to education. He further requests the Chief Minister to intervene and help these children.