Following the demolition of its Child Education Reform Centre at Takarda Pada in Ovala, the Maharashtra Child Development Workers Welfare (MCDWW) has demanded the suspension of the concerned officials. It claimed that the tribal students who studied in the ashram school will be deprived of education due to this action.
The centre teaches around 40 children. The centre said that the corporation demolished a portion of the school in the midst of monsoon without giving it an alternate location. Due to this, water seeps into the ground floor structure and this would make it difficult for the students to attend school.
Priyesh Sable, director, MCDWW, said, “We have been running this school for more than two decades. With the increase in the number of students at the ashram school, we decided to include another floor. We approached the TMC with a request letter and, on its assurance, initiated construction work for the additional floor. However, due to the lockdown, our paperwork was not completed. When we asked TMC, the officials told us to continue with the construction during the weekends. We did the same but the officials turned up at the school amidst heavy rains last week and pulled down the under-construction portion.”
The ashram school was for tribal children and those from backward classes. Some preferred staying within the premises itself as their houses were far away. “Due to the recent lockdown imposed and the heavy rains, the students had gone to their respective homes. If they come back, we do not have a proper space for them to sit and impart education,” added Sable.
The ashram school was for students between three years and eight years, and had computer systems and provisions to stay as well.
“As a part of the protocol to demolish illegal structures or encroachments, this demolition act was taken by the ward officials. No officer can give oral assurance to any resident prior to the completion of the paperwork and other requirements. We shall look into the matter. However, the concerned structure was demolished as it had not got permissions,” said a senior TMC officer on the condition of anonymity.