Delhi: Unable to go to school, 14-yr-old commits suicide
Date: Tue, 2011-02-22
New Delhi: There is growing anger over public schools violating the Right To Education Act (RTE) after 14-year-old Algin Varghese committed suicide for not paying his school fees in the Capital last week.
Twenty-five per cent free education is mandatory for students of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). Activists say such students are often harassed. Members of the All India Parent Association of India protested outside the Delhi police headquarters.
"Police hasn't registered a case yet. It's a clear case where the school has troubled Algin, harassed him and that played on his mind and made him commit suicide," said Ashok Agarwal, Parent Association of India, President and RTE Activist.
Algin was studying in VIII standard and was given free education at the Adrash Public School in Uttam Nagar. His mother was working as a temporary staff. She was asked to leave on the promise that Algin could continue studying. After the Right To Information Act was implemented, Algin was part of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) list. His father alleges the school asked him to pay up or leave.
"He was harassed in school. The Hindi teacher beat him. But he was really depressed after he was not allowed into school. The principal told me the school will not allow him to appear for the exams if we did not pay up fees,'' said Algin's father PK Varghese.
Principal of Adarsh Public School, Usha Sahgal said, ''He has been given free education. He is on the EWS list. Why will we dismiss him?"
However, Algin's friends admit he was often punished at school. And when seven students were suspended from school initially, only Algin wasn't taken back.
"This is the negligence of the police. Had they seized the documents earlier it wouldn't give the school a chance to manufacture and forge documents, which they have now done," Ashok Agarwal added.
Activists call it the Rouvanjeet Roula case of Delhi and the parallels are hard to miss. The only difference is that so far not even a case has been registered after Algin's suicide.Source: http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/delhi-unable-to-go-to-school-14-yr-old-commits-suicide-86965