Provide Free Shoes in Elementary Classes of Maharashtra Govt. Schools #RoadToEducation

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On my way back from guitar class, I saw a little boy cross the street at the same time as me. With a heavy bag on his back, what caught my eye was that he was walking barefoot. 

How often have we spotted children from government schools walking bare feet on the road? It always makes me think about the cuts and calluses those soft feet develop way before their age. 

These children walk for kilometers at a stretch to get to school. The roads often do not have walkways for pedestrians, and are filled with remnants of construction work, glass shards from accidents, and are rocky. In village, roads are not properly made, and the sands get unbearably hot under the midday sun.

When we have different sets of slippers for our different needs, imagine these little children walking barefoot, for something as basic as getting to school. 

Free books and free uniform are provided under the Right to Education Act. This has really helped increase the number of children attending school. Then why leave out an essential like shoes?

Mumbai is one of the few places where this provision has already been taken into consideration and is in place.

But what about the children in the rest of the state? 

This is why I am asking the Maharashtra Government to provide children in all government schools free shoes along with their books and uniform.

Maharashtra gave India iconic figures like Savitri Bai Phule who dedicated their lives to bring education closer to our children. No child should struggle to achieve something that is their right, education.

A few states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are already implementing this. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) released a circular in 2018, recommending all states to provide free shoes to children of elementary classes at least.

I do not want to see another child walking with no shoes on the road and not do anything about it!

Join me in asking the Education Minister of Maharashtra to provide free shoes to elementary classes of government schools as part of free uniform to our children. Let the health and welfare of our children take primacy.

Please sign this petition so that the long road to education is at least not in barefoot anymore. #RoadToEducation

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