Mirzapur: Parents boycott the school which served roti-salt
The government school in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur, which served roti and salt to students, was eerily quiet on Thursday, as only one student attended the classes. A day later, 37 students went to the school in Seur village when the actual strength is 97. Reportedly, parents have stopped sending their wards to the institute to protest against the district administration. Here's what happened.
In a heartbreaking clip, shot by a local journalist Pawan Jaiswal, kids were seen sitting on the school's corridor having roti with just a pinch of salt. The video went viral and the headmaster in-charge Murari Lal was suspended. But later, in an uncalled-for move, an FIR was filed against Jaiswal and the representative of the village head Rajkumar Pal for hatching a "conspiracy".
The absurd decision to book Jaiswal and Pal united villagers, who decided to keep their kids at home. Mangru Prasad, whose three nieces study there, asked why should children be sent to such a school. "The administration has lodged a complaint against those who exposed this (despicable menu). This is wrong. We support the journalist and the representative of the pradhan," he told IE.
Meanwhile, the lone student who attended school on Thursday was identified as one Sukhram. In a video, he purportedly said, "I was alone in the school today (Thursday)." However, Pradeep Kumar Singh, Block Education Officer of Jamalpur, under whose jurisdiction the school comes, said "few students" turned up on Thursday. He said parents were contacted and were advised to send their kids for studies.
"We spoke to the parents and the response has been positive. Today (Friday), 37 children attended the school," Singh added. But, Prasad said the villagers would collectively decide whether to send their children to school or not.
On a related note, while the Yogi Adityanath government went on an overdrive by taking action against Jaiswal, a member of his party differed. BJP's Manoj Tiwari on Wednesday said the journalist should be "rewarded". "The Uttar Pradesh government will take action against the officers responsible for the poor quality of food. BJP will never protect someone who has done something wrong," Tiwari claimed.