Over a week after a 12-year-old girl died under mysterious circumstances at an ashramshala (boarding school for tribal children), the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has decided to set up a committee to investigate the condition of ashramshalas across the state.
This newspaper reported in its November 26 edition about the death of the girl studying at a privately run ashramshala in Vikramgadh taluka of Thane district on November 24 at a local hospital. The child, a a class VI student of Arvind Ashramshala located at Dahade village, was a boarder. The police said that the hostel where the girl put up was being run by Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Vishnu Savra from Wada.
Based on the news report, the child rights body had summoned the parties concerned for a hearing on Tuesday.
An officer from the state education department said that the hostel warden has been suspended as an initial measure. “The police are investigating the matter,” said the officer, adding that a report on the matter has been submitted to the commission.
The rights body, however, has held the view that there is a rising number of such adverse incidents in ashramshalas across the state and so merely suspending the warden will not help solve the larger issue.
Secretary of the commission, AN Tripathi, said that in recent times many cases concerning conditions of students living at ashramshalas have been reported. “Our duty is to reform and improve so it is essential to identify the root of the problem,” said Tripathi. For this, a team of experts will be deployed to carry out a detailed study on condition of ashramshalas across the state.