Children deserve a safe and secure place to learn
This petition had 155 supporters
No child should be thrown out on the street due to the whims of a new chief in town. Mr. Manoj Sashidhar, Vadodara IPS, Suspend your Arbitrary cancellation NOW and GIVE BACK the Pathshala children a safe and quiet place to learn in your police training school
Meet some children Pathshala school:
Arti is very meticulous and methodical in everything she does;
Jyotsna is a talented artist who loves to paint and draw colorful images of gardens filled with flowers;
Sunita is mischievous but extremely caring and is helping other children;
Prakash is very quite and well mannered child;
Purusottam is 12 years old and a very responsible young boy.
Suraj is an artist who uses bold strokes to explain his feelings; and,
Radha has been voted the “cutest and angry Indian goddess” by the teachers of Pathshala.
What do they all have in common? They all have been thrown out of the Police Training Facility to the noisy and unsafe streets of Vadodara with no toilets or a sink to wash their hands or protected from potential miscreants.
Why? No explanations needed because these children come from “poor and voiceless” families.
The state of Gujarat, India, unveiled the Suraksha Setu project. The vision of the Project states, “Police should not only symbolize power and authority but should come across as a friend in need having sensitivity for people’s problems and willingness to productively solve the problem faced by people at all level and all age groups.”
In February 2016, Keeping with the vision of Suraksha Setu project, Mr Khurshid Ahmed, IPS officer opened the classrooms in the Police Training School to 100 under-privileged school children aged 5-16 years old. Mr E Radhakrishna, IPS paid Rs. 1.5 lakhs per month to Srotoshwini Trust to run Pathshala plus the transport cost to an outside agency to bring the children to PTS and back to their places after the class. Mr. RadhaKrishna firmly believed that helping Pathshala school children is in line with Suraksha Setu’s vision and Prime Minister Modi’s vision of community policing.
Thanks to Mr. Ahmed and Mr. Radhakrishna, the children could move to the Police Training Facility and be taught there. Protected from the traffic noise, dirt, and unsavory onlookers, the Pathshala teachers could provide an ideal environment for the children to learn and they made remarkable academic progress. The teachers introduced craft, yoga, and several enrichment classes. The Pathshala staff also utilized the Police Training grounds for P.E.
All this changed!!
The “New Chief in Town”, Mr. Manoj Sashidhar, IPS declared that the well-being of the Pathshala schoolchildren was of no importance to him. For Mr. Sashidhar, protecting children is of no relevance to the police. So, on February 2017, with no discussions of an alternative arrangement for the children, Mr. Sashidhar arbitrarily decided to revoke the agreement between Srotoshwini Trust and Suraksha Setu Project. The monthy support of Rs. 1.5lakhs plus transport, was gone and the children were thrown in the streets to study in the footpaths.
Teachers are frustrated with the inability to teach the children. Dr. Juin Dutta, president of the trust, shares concerns of the teachers, “Sitting on footpath is extremely disturbing to children. There is a continuous noise and disturbance from the passers-by. We don't have place to keep things for the children.” Futhermore, Dr. Dutta adds, “The children are scattered in three different locations. In one location, we are using courtyard of a temple to teach but the temple owner has started objecting. Sometimes, drunk fathers show up at the classes though they don't have the guts to misbehave but still it is a bit disturbing for the teachers. We used to have dance and craft classes and now we have to give them up. I know academic progress will be hampered. For our annual concert, we used to practice together and that’s a distant dream.”
The protection that Suraksha Setu offered to the school children was a great model of the police and community partnership. This partnership was fully supported by the previous Police Commissionerand has been destroyed by the present Police Commissioner with no explanations given except that it doesn’t conform with the Suraksha Setu project. He is unwilling to be a “friend in need” to 100 school children who are now on the streets of Vadodara trying to study.
Should we remain quiet when these Voiceless Vadodara children have been thrown out in the streets from the Police Training School by Mr. Manoj Sashidhar, IPS?
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO. IT WAS MADE WHEN OUR CHILDREN USED TO GO TO POLICE TRAINING SCHOOL( PTS) FROM FOOTPATH. NOW THEY ARE BACK TO FOOTPATH.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION:
1. Let the Mr. Sashidhar know that helping children should be of primary importance to the police.
2. The Suraksha Setu Project vision states that the police needs to be a “friend in need.” This means provide funds and facilities to Pathshala school children as they did till January 2017.
3. There should be permanent support so that no child is deprived of a safe school with a tables and chair , a toilet, and place to wash his/her hands before sitting on a bench to eat lunch.
4. No child should be thrown out on the streets of India, simply because there is change in “IPS chiefs”.
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